Analyzing an Electrodynamic Ion Funnel with COMSOL Multiphysics®

Caty Fairclough December 8, 2017

Within mass spectrometers, plasmas are often used to ionize a sample and an inert background gas. Before the ions produced in the plasma are sent into the mass filter, which determines the sample’s chemical composition, they must be focused into a beam with a suitably small radius. One way to focus ions is with an ion funnel. Focusing ions is a critical stage of the overall design, so it’s important to have a fundamental understanding of the funnel’s operating principles.

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Caty Fairclough November 29, 2017

You’re driving on the highway as an ambulance goes by, siren blaring. After the ambulance passes your car, you notice that the pitch of the siren suddenly drops. This happens due to the Doppler effect, which is named after physicist and mathematician Christian Doppler.

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Caty Fairclough November 23, 2017

Throughout his lifetime, Johannes Diderik van der Waals worked toward increasing our understanding of liquids and gases. With his groundbreaking work, he made a name for himself in molecular science and earned a Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Caty Fairclough November 15, 2017

Einzel lenses are used to focus charged particle beams in cathode ray tubes (CRTs). To properly analyze an einzel lens, we need to study the charged particles in the lens subject to appropriate electrical excitation. Here, we discuss one such example that uses the Particle Tracing Module, an add-on product to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough November 10, 2017

Skyscrapers, highway bridges, and other heavy manmade structures often use drilled shafts. Despite their widespread application, these shafts suffer from anomalies due to suboptimal designs and issues with the flow of concrete. To better understand such problems and improve the concreting process for drilled shafts, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here, we take a peek at their preliminary research and findings.

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Caty Fairclough November 7, 2017

From cocktail parties to public transit, there are competing sound sources in many everyday environments. If you want to listen to one specific sound, say a friend’s question, in a complex auditory setting, you have to distinguish between the sounds around you and focus on the one of interest. This situation is known as “the cocktail party problem”. Understanding how humans solve this problem can lead to advancements in hearing aid designs.

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Caty Fairclough November 1, 2017

You’re listening to music when you bump into your loudspeaker, knocking it off the table. Fortunately, it still works! In his keynote presentation at the COMSOL Conference 2017 Boston, Richard Little discussed how Sonos, Inc. ensures that loudspeakers are durable enough to withstand certain stresses and how they use simulation to improve the robustness of the transducer component. If you missed his talk, you can watch the video recording below, followed by a quick summary of his presentation.

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Caty Fairclough October 27, 2017

Margaret Hutchinson Rousseau was an innovative chemical engineer who designed the first commercial penicillin plant. This plant enabled scientists to produce large quantities of the life-saving drug. Rousseau’s other accomplishments include developing high-octane gasoline and becoming the first woman to join the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). On this day, her birthday, we explore her life and legacy.

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Caty Fairclough October 23, 2017

Engineers use signal integrity (SI) analyses to generate information on the quality of electrical signals. They can then make design improvements based on this information. A useful technique for SI applications is time-domain reflectometry (TDR), which finds discontinuities in signal paths. Here, we use simulation to perform TDR analyses for two different designs: a high-speed interconnect and a set of parallel microstrip lines.

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Caty Fairclough October 18, 2017

How might a rainbow-colored crustacean help improve cancer detection? The answer lies within the mantis shrimp’s amazing visual system, which is one of the most advanced in the animal kingdom. By using the mantis shrimp as inspiration for an imaging system design, one research group hopes to provide a new cancer detection tool.

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Caty Fairclough October 6, 2017

George Westinghouse was a prolific inventor who helped shape how we use electricity in America and throughout the world. Among his notable achievements, he improved the safety of trains and furthered the acceptance and use of alternating current (AC) as a standard way to supply electricity. Throughout his life, Westinghouse started many companies and fostered strong ties to other great thinkers. As today is his birthday, we’d like to celebrate his life and accomplishments.

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