ASMS 2008 Product of the Show

IBO has selected Waters’ new Xevo triple quadrupole LC/MS as the best new product from this year’s ASMS meeting. While this new benchtop system certainly has a modern look, consistent with its name, it is the collision cell technology on the inside that made IBO take notice.

The Xevo’s novel collision cell design enables it to operate in T-Wave mode or in Waters’ more recently developed ScanWave mode. T-Wave mode utilizes a stacked-ring ion guide design that allows it to produce a traveling wave that accelerates ions into the second quadrupole mass analyzer. This has the effect of significantly improving the fast scanning abilities of a tandem MS.

Perhaps the more interesting capability is the ScanWave mode of the collision cell, which functions as a sort of ion trap. In ScanWave mode, ions are accumulated and then selectively gated into the second quadrupole. This helps the Xevo to significantly increase the signal intensity of both parent and product ion spectra. In comparison to Waters’ current state-of-the-art triple quadrupole LC/MS, the Quattro Premier XE, Waters claims that the Xevo attains as much as eight times the response as a result of the new collision cell design.

While the collision cell is the centerpiece of the new Xevo, other improvements have been included as well. The system features Waters’ IntelliStart technology, which was first introduced on the lower-end SQD and TQD LC/MS systems. It is intended to automate much of the instrument checks and calibration needed for operation. Waters clearly hopes to put a much more powerful LC/MS system in the hands of non-mass spectroscopists. The Xevo also features the latest generation of Waters’ ZSpray ionization source, which is an integrated design that allows users to switch between various sources without any tools.

The new Xevo appears to be a significant improvement in the triple quadrupole LC/MS market and should help position Waters regain some of the ground it lost in the segment several years ago. Waters intends to price the Xevo at or slightly above current top-end triple quadrupole LC/MS systems that are currently on the market.

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