1ST Detect has developed a revolutionary chemical detector based on a linear ion trap (LIT) mass spectrometer. Our proprietary ion trap leverages technology from the space program, allowing the device’s portability, versatility, sensitivity, durability, high speed and low cost.

In a linear ion trap mass spectrometer, ions are contained within a defined location (the ‘trap’) by the use of RF electric fields. Ions are then sequentially ejected by adjusting this field in a controlled manner and a mass spectrum is generated by measuring these ejected ions with a detector. The resulting mass spectrum provides a unique identifier or ‘fingerprint’ that allows the 1ST Detect ion trap to unambiguously detect and identify a wide variety of chemicals.

Linear Ion Trap


  • MS/MS (MSn) operation without additional buffer gases (only requires air)
  • Resolution and mass range can be maintained with a miniature mass analyzer (not length dependent)
  • Ease of manufacturing allows lower-cost production
  • Higher-pressure operation allows use of smaller sized pumps without affecting performance
  • Increased ion capacity, resulting in greater dynamic range
  • Highly efficient capture of ions generated outside of the trap