A super-resolution proof of concept in a cycloidal coded aperture miniature mass spectrometer.


<h4>Rationale</h4>Higher resolution in fieldable mass spectrometers (MS) is desirable in space flight applications to enable resolving isobaric interferences at m/z &lt; 60 u. Resolution in portable cycloidal MS coupled with array detectors could be improved by reducing the slit width and/or by reducing the width of the detector pixels. However, these solutions are expensive and can result in reduced sensitivity. In this paper, we demonstrate high-resolution spectral reconstruction in a cycloidal coded aperture miniature mass spectrometer (C-CAMMS) without changing the slit or detector pixel sizes using a class of signal processing techniques called super-resolution (SR).<h4>Methods</h4>We developed an SR reconstruction algorithm using a sampling SR approach whereby a set of spatially shifted low-resolution measurements are reconstructed into a higher-resolution spectrum. This algorithm was applied to experimental data collected using the C-CAMMS prototype. It was then applied to synthetic data with additive noise, system response variation, and spatial shift nonuniformity to investigate the source of reconstruction artifacts in the experimental data.<h4>Results</h4>Experimental results using two ½ pixel shifted spectra resulted in a resolution of ¾ pixel full width at half maximum (FWHM) at m/z = 28 u. This resolution is equivalent to 0.013 u, six times better than the resolution previously published at m/z = 28 for N2 + using C-CAMMS. However, the reconstructed spectra exhibited some artifacts. The results of the synthetic data study indicate that the artifacts are most likely caused by the system response variation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This paper demonstrates super-resolution spectral reconstruction in C-CAMMS without changing the slit or detector pixel sizes using a sampling SR approach. With improvements, this technique could be used to resolve isobaric interferences in a portable cycloidal MS for space flight applications.