Electrostatic Trap

Electrostatic ion traps are a class of ion traps that rely purely on electrostatic fields to trap charged particles. Examples include

  • Kingdon trap (1923): A cylindrical cathode wire is placed on the axis of a cylindrical anode shell of much larger radius, thereby forming a logarithmic field (much like the cylindrical capacitor or Cylindrical Mirror Analyzer (CMA)). This traps positively charged particles having an angular momentum around the wire. Trapping the axial direction can also be obtained by end caps at positive potential.
  • Knight trap (1981) (“ideal Kingdon trap”): This has a radial logarithmic potential, like the Kingdon trap, but it also has an axial quadrupole potential (so-called “quadrologarithmic”) formed by a rounded outer electrode.
  • orbitrap (2000): the field is quadrologarithmic like the Knight trap but, for example, both electrodes are shaped to form a more ideal quadrologarithmic field.
  • others: multi-reflectron, multi-deflection (e.g. electrostatic storage rings [3]), … (summary [1] [2])

Like the Penning Trap (ICR), image current detection can be involved.


Fig. 45 Figure: Kingdon and quadro-logarithmic field (orbitrap-style) electrostatic traps. See SIMION Example: kingdon (

See Also


[1]Dr. Alexander Makarov. Frontiers of Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry. 18th IMSC Conference, Bremen. https://www.thermo.com/eThermo/CMA/PDFs/Various/File_52868.pdf – a “zoology of ion traps”
[2]“Electrostatic Ion Traps”, Ryan Hilger, 2011. chem.purdue.edu – slides summarizig different trap types

SIMION specific:

  • PerryCooks2008. Perry, Richard H.; Cooks, R. Graham; Noll, Robert J. “Orbitrap mass spectrometry: Instrumentation, ion motion and applications.” Mass Spectrometry Reviews. volume 27, issue 6, year 2008, pp. 661-699. doi:10.1002/mas.20186 (highly cited) (SIMION orbitrap simulations). Others: link2.
  • Afshin Fardi. ConeTrap: An Electrostatic Ion Trap for Atomic and Molecular Physics. 2001. link (“ConeTrap” ESIT simulated in SIMION)
  • BruckerRathbone2010. Brucker, Gerardo A.; Rathbone, G. Jeffery. “Autoresonant Trap Mass Spectrometry (ART MS) for remote sensing applications.” International Journal of Mass Spectrometry. volume 295, issue 3, year 2010, pp. 133-137. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2010.06.028. (“ART MS” ESIT simulated in SIMION)
  • G. Brucker and K. Van Antwerp. “Comparison of Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer and Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer.” Brooks Automation, Inc. 2009. link. (“ARTMS” ESIT simulated in SIMION)
  • HassVaintraub2011. Hass, M; Vaintraub, S; Aviv, O; Blaum, K; Heber, O; Mardor, I; Rappaport, M; Wolf, A; Zajfman, D. “A novel method for fundamental interaction studies with an electrostatic ion beam trap.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series. volume 267, year 2011, pp. 012013 doi:10.1088/1742-6596/267/1/012013 arxiv (SIMION simulations for EIBT)
  • Benner1997. Benner, W. Henry. A Gated Electrostatic Ion Trap To Repetitiously Measure the Charge andm/zof Large Electrospray Ions. Analytical Chemistry. volume 69, issue 20, year 1997, pp. 4162-4168. doi:10.1021/ac970163e (SIMION 6.0)
  • DahanFishman1998. Dahan, M.; Fishman, R.; Heber, O.; Rappaport, M.; Altstein, N.; Zajfman, D. van der Zande, W. J. “A new type of electrostatic ion trap for storage of fast ion beams” Review of Scientific Instruments. volume 69, issue 1, year 1998, p. 76|. doi:10.1063/1.1148481. (SIMION simulations)
  • “Simion 8.0 simulations of electrostatic trap.” Suits group, chem.wayne.edu. (accessed 2012-03) link.
  • VeldhovenBethlem2006. van Veldhoven, Jacqueline; Bethlem, Hendrick; Schnell, Melanie; Meijer, Gerard. “Versatile electrostatic trap.” Physical Review A. volume 73, issue 6, year 2006. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.73.063408 link2
  • K.-G. Rensfelt, G. Andler, L. Bagge, M. Blom, H. Danared, A. Källberg, S. Leontein, L. Liljeby, P. Löfgren, A. Paál, A. Simonsson and Ö. Skeppstedt, H. T. Schmidt, H. Cederquist, M. Larsson and K. Schmidt. “DESIREE – A double electrostatic Storage Ring.” Proceedings of EPAC 2004, Lucerne, Switzerland. link1 link2 (SIMION simulations). (related: doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/300/1/012011)
  • BernardMontagne2008. Bernard, J.; Montagne, G.; Brédy, R.; Terpend-Ordacière, B.; Bourgey, A.; Kerleroux, M.; Chen, L.; Schmidt, H. T.; Cederquist, H.; Martin, S. “A “tabletop” electrostatic ion storage ring: Mini-Ring.” Review of Scientific Instruments. volume 79, issue 7, year 2008, pp. 075109. doi:10.1063/1.2957609 (SIMION simulationss)
  • Anatoli N. Verentchikov; Mikhail I. Yavor; Yuri I. Hasin; Mikhail A. Gavrik. “Multi-reflecting TOF analyzer for high resolution MS.” 2005 link1 link2 (SIMION simulations)
  • Kelly, Orla. “Electrostatic Storage and Mass Analysis of Polyatomic Molecules” link Thesis. 2008. School of Mathematics and Physics, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Northern Ireland. (SIMION simulations, KEIRA/KEIRAlite/LEIBT, plus background on linear traps) “optimised for efficient ion storage and mass analysis, where some of the key features involve in situ ionisation and non-destructive ion detection”
[3]Møller, Søren Pape. “ELISA, and electrostatic storage ring for atomic physics.” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment. volume 394, issue 3, year 1997, pp. 281-286. doi:10.1016/S0168-9002(97)00673-6. link2 (SIMION simulations)