Selected Ion Flow Tube MS

In-situ trace level analysis of volatiles


Syft LabSelected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) is an extremely elegant technique, which finds its origin in the study of gas-phase ion-molecule reaction kinetics. It combines soft chemical ionization with prior knowledge of reaction schemes and kinetics to quantitatively measure target organic and inorganic components at trace and ultratrace levels. Since it was first described in 1996, the technique has progressed tremendously. Today, it is recognized as a powerful alternative to GC and GC/MS, particularly for highly demanding applications, such as real-time monitoring and trace level quantitative analysis of reactive components. SIFT-MS uses multiple reagent ions (H3O+, O2+ and NO+) to ionize volatile analytes. Since these reagent ions exhibit the capacity to induce response orthogonality, the analyses can be executed without the need for a detailed chromatographic pre-separation. Reaction results in the formation of product ions, which are detected by a quadrupole mass filter and a particle multiplier. Our team has almost immediately recognized the huge potential of SIFT-MS. Since its first introduction in our lab in 2006, we have carried out several feasibility studies that illustrate the overall strength and various possibilities of this analytical technique. Our current interest is mainly associated with the use of SIFT-MS in exhaled breath analysis for diagnostic purposes.




Core facilities:
- Syft Voice200 instrument
- Permeation unit for calibration purposes
- Breath interface
- Swab desorber interface
- Hyphenation to various autosamplers



Recent projects:
- Online exhaled breath analysis of ICU patients
- Fast differentiation between asthma and non-asthma patients
- Monitoring the bench life of roasted coffee beans in situ


For Belgium, Luxemburg and France:
Av. J. E. Lenoir 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel: +32(0)10/45.00.25 - Fax: +32(0)10/45.30.80

For The Netherlands:
Tinstraat 16, 4823 AA Breda
Tel: +31(0)765/411.800 - Fax: +31(0)842/206.757


Contact us

Have a question? Or just want to say hi?


Just drop us an email at

Or fill out the Contact Form.