College of Science at George Mason University invites all interested faculty and students to the first installment of COS Science Fridays this Friday, September 9, at 11:30am in Exploratory Hallroom 3301. Join the College of Science for a science filled lunch!

Speaker:Dr. Mazdak Taghioskoui, co-founder of Trace Matters Scientific LLC and a Research Scientist at Rice University
Title:Miniature Mass Spectrometers for Field Analysis: Challenges and Opportunities

Abstract:Mass Spectrometry is a method of choice for chemical analysis with high sensitivity and selectivity. In general, the size, weight, complexity, and power consumption of advanced mass spectrometers limit their application exclusively to advanced laboratories. Miniaturization has extended the use of mass spectrometers in chemical analysis for numerous analytical applications by providing on-site identification and detection capability. Compact and powerful miniature mass spectrometers provide on-site chemical analysis for various applications. However, their performance lags the conventional lab-scale mass spectrometers. Extending the performance of miniature mass spectrometers for use in identification of complex molecules is of significant scientific, technical, and commercial value. Performance enhancement requires design, development, and integration of numerous components for instrument operation, control, and data acquisition, such as miniature ionization sources, mass analyzers, detectors, vacuum pumps, and related compact and low-power electronics. Despite the challenges associated with the development of miniature mass spectrometers, such instruments present promising prospects in addressing various unresolved demands in field analysis, making them the perfect fit for almost any industry/sector that needs fail-safe and sensitive on-site chemical analysis, such as bio-agent and explosive detection required in homeland security applications.

Biography:Mazdak Taghioskoui is a co-founder of Trace Matters Scientific LLC and a Research Scientist at Rice University. He received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2005, and his M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry in 2007 and his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2011, both from The George Washington University. After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Taghioskoui joined Georgetown University as a postdoctoral fellow and conducted research on dynamics and coalescence of charged water-in-oil femto-liter volume droplets and ambient mass spectrometry. Prior to joining Rice University as a research scientist and co-founding Trace Matters Scientific LLC, Dr. Taghioskoui, was a Technical Advisor at the patent prosecution group of Oblon LLP, where he advised major national and international companies on complex technical matters. Dr. Taghioskoui has received numerous awards for his research on miniaturization of plasma sources and ambient mass spectrometry, including a First-Prize Award for Washington Society of Engineers/Young Engineer Prize Paper Competition, a First-Prize Award for District of Columbia Council of Engineering and Architectural Societies Paper Competition, a Best Poster Award for Winter Conference on Plasma Spectrochemistry, a Third Place Award for the Society of Satellite Professionals International Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter (SSPI-MA) 2nd Engineering Project Competition on Space Systems, and a Research Excellence Award, among others. He is also a Bronze Medal winner of the National Chemistry Olympiad in 1998.

Dr. Taghioskoui current research interests includes mass spectrometry instrumentation, with a major emphasis on the bottom-up development and full-system integration of miniature tandem mass spectrometers.

This informal lecture series is designed to provide members of COS community the opportunity to hear about each other's work. It is open to all faculty, postdocs, and graduate students.

Speakers are asked to give a 30-minute presentation about their work.  Would you like to be our next speaker? Register at