Benefits of Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS)

What benefits does the Owlstone detector and its FAIMS technology offer over other sensing technologies?

Using leading-edge nanofabrication techniques, Owlstone has created a complete chemical detection system a hundred times smaller and a thousand times cheaper than other currently available devices.

Compared with other current ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) sensing technologies, Owlstone offers a unique combination of benefits. These include size and weight, reliability, sensitivity, response speed, low power consumption, reduce false positives, versatility and manufacturing cost.

  • Size and Weight: the Owlstone sensor is fabricated on a single chip with linear dimensions of just under a centimeter.
  • Reliability: the Owlstone sensor is a solid state device with no moving parts. It's immune to the effects of mechanical vibration or sudden physical shocks - making it ideal to cope with the rigors of real-world environments from airports and battlefields to factory floors.
  • Sensitivity: the sensor can typically detect chemical agents in concentrations as low as a few parts per billion.
  • Response Speed: the extremely small size of the sensor means that it can respond to the presence of chemical agents far quicker than larger diffusion-type detectors.
  • Low Power Consumption: Operating at low voltages, the detector's solid state design ensures that it consumes far less electrical power than conventional ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) sensors.
  • Reduced False Positives: The sensor's ability to discriminate accurately between different chemical compounds means that anomalous 'false positive' alerts are minimized.
  • Versatility: it's easy to adapt the sensor's ability to detect other threats through changes to on-board software and signal processing alone. The same core technology can therefore be applied to meet application needs across a wide range of market areas and industries.
  • Cost of Manufacture: each sensor can be fabricated at a cost of less than five US dollars - a fraction of the cost of other detector technologies. This makes Owlstone detector technology particularly attractive for high-volume consumer applications, ranging from personal medical care and monitoring to smoke detection.