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  Carnegie Mellon University

Bier Research Group


  1. Bier, M. E.; Syka, J. E. P.; Taylor, D. M.; Fies, W. J. Ion source assembly for an ion trap mass spectrometer and method. U.S. Patent 5756996, 1998.
    This patent was a critical breakthrough in the development of GC/MS based on a 3D-ion trap, namely the GCQ. The ion source technology reduced the noise at the detector making the mass spectrometer analytically useful. This invention was commercialized.
  2. Bier, M. E. Method of reducing noise in an ion trap mass spectrometer coupled to an atmospheric pressure ionization source. U.S. Patent 5750993, 1998.
    This patent reduced particle noise reaching the detector on a mass spectrometer. The invention was most useful in ion trap technology when coupled to an electrospray source. Unwanted particles can be deflected or repelled from transmitting to the detector resulting in a large S/N gain and useful data. This invention was commercialized.
  3. Schwartz, J.C.; Zhou, X.; Bier, M. E. Method and apparatus of increasing dynamic range and sensitivity of a mass spectrometer. U.S. Patent 5572022, 1996.
    This invention was based on using variable ionization times to optimize the number of ions injected into an ion trap. This invention was commercialized.
  4. Bier, M.E.; Syka, J.E.P. Ion trap mass spectrometer system and method U.S. Patent 05420425, 1995.
    I consider this idea one of my most significant. This invention relates to new ion trap geometries that allow for a large ion trapping volumes and thus a greater abundance of trapped ions. The improvement is at least a 20X increase in ion abundance. This invention was finally commercialized in 2002 and is considered a breakthrough in technology.
  5. Bier, M. E. Method and apparatus for multi-stage particle separation with gas addition for a mass spectrometer. U.S. Patent 5162650, 1992.
    This invention of using several stages of gas/particle separation and allowing the desolvated particles to collide with a heated end cap of an ion trap was remarkable given the history of the ion traps sensitivity to chamber gas.
  6. Bier, M. E.; Cooks; R.G. and Stafford, G.C. Mass spectrometer with in-line collision surface means U.S. Patent 05026987, 1991.
    This invention is about in-line devices that could be used to impart energy into particles.
  7. Bier, M.E., Brodbelt, J.; Cooks, R.G. Capillary membrane interface for a mass spectrometer U.S. Patent 04791292, 1988.
    This invention was for an interface that allows the permeation of a semi-volatile analyte across a membrane and directly into the ion source of a mass spectrometer. This invention was commercialized and a small company was formed based on the invention.
  8. Bier, M. E. Method of vaporizing multicomponent liquids. U.S. Patent 4642165, 1987.
    This invention allowed for the homogenous vaporization of a multicomponent mixture. It has been used by Steris Corporation in Erie, PA to make hydrogen peroxide sterilizers and it has been successfully defended.

Mark E. Bier

Research Professor and Director, Center for Molecular Analysis

Department of Chemistry
Carnegie Mellon University
Mellon Institute
4400 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-268-3540 (office)
412-268-1061 (fax)

Office: MI 555