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Ion cyclotron resonance

Ion cyclotron resonance is a phenomenon related to the movement of ions in a magnetic field. It is used for accelerating ions in a cyclotron, and for measuring the masses of an ionized analyte in mass spectrometry, particularly with Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers.

Additional recommended knowledge

Definition of the resonant frequency

An ion in a static and uniform magnetic field will move in a circle due to the Lorentz force. The circular motion may be superimposed with a uniform axial motion, resulting in a helix, or with a uniform motion perpendicular to the field, e.g., in the presence of an electrical or gravitational field, resulting in a cycloid. The angular frequency (ω = 2π f ) of this cyclotron motion for a given magnetic field strength B is given (in SI units[1]) by


where z is the algebric number of positive or negative charges of the ion, e is the elementary charge and m is the mass of the ion.

The formula above means that an electric excitation signal having a frequency f will resonate with ions having a mass-to-charge ratio m/z given by:

\frac{m}{z}=\frac{eB}{2\pi f}.


  1. ^ In SI units, the elementary charge e has the value 1.602×10-19 C, the mass of the ion m is often given in atomic mass unit or dalton 1 u = 1 Da ≈ 1.660538782(83) × 10−27 kg, the magnetic field B is measured in tesla, and the angular frequency ω is measured in radians per second.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ion_cyclotron_resonance". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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