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The MagLab is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Florida.

Meet the 21 Tesla ICR Magnet

MagLab scientists Nate Kaiser (left) and Donald Smith with the 21 tesla magnet and its instrumentation.
MagLab scientists Nate Kaiser (left) and Donald Smith with the 21 tesla magnet and its instrumentation.

David Barfield

Used to perform complex chemical analysis, this magnet offers researchers the world's highest field for ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry.

Built by Bruker Corporation and available to scientists since October 2015, this 21 tesla (T) magnet was installed in a custom room and paired with unique instrumentation designed and built at the MagLab. This powerful system allows researchers to view in amazing detail the structure of proteins, the chemical composition of petroleum and biofuels, and biological markers for diseases.

Applying a technique called Fourier Transform (FT) ICR, the tool combines high resolution and sensitivity to tell discrete molecules apart by mass. This upgrade to 21 T represents a 45 percent increase in magnetic field for ICR research at the MagLab, and more than doubles the accuracy of measurements to about 50 parts per billion. With it, chemists and biologists will be able to study extremely complex substances and identify upwards of 100,000 different molecules in a single sample.

Combined with the various techniques that can be used with it, the magnet will give scientists a look at complex organic mixtures like proteomes, metabolomes and petroleum that will be much clearer than ever before, and will allow them to map contact surfaces in biomolecular assemblies.

Learn more about this instrument or learn more about the ICR Facility.


Video by Stephen Bilenky

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Credit: National MagLab

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Vital Statistics

Strength 21 teslas
Type Superconducting
Bore size 123 mm room temperature horizontal bore (~4.8 inches)
Online since October 2015
Cost $12.5 million
Weight 19,400 kg (42,800 pounds)
Height 3,300 meters (11 feet)

Last modified on 31 December 2022