T4i FemtoMachine®
QA/QC of chemical sensors/detectors/analyzers in the field

T4i FemtoMachine®
QA/QC of chemical sensors/detectors/analyzers in the field

Field chemical sensors/detectors/analyzers:

Reliability first!

The traditional approach of taking samples to the lab for analysis requires careful sample collection and preparation to avoid cross-contamination. Strict procedures are needed; wrapping-and-sealing reference samples in certified clean plastic bags, minimum handling of the sampling equipment, avoiding contact with contaminated areas and ensuring that sampling tools are not reused. Blanks samples are also needed (matrix blanks, travel blanks, storing blanks).

Field data generated by mobile instruments need relevant QA and QC procedures for assuring data quality, examining data outliers, serving verification and validation purposes, making field monitoring more objective and for cutting costs. 

Quality Assurance (QA) is defined as a procedure or set of procedures (instrument calibration, standardization, validation) applied before measuring, in order to ensure that the analytical results are reliable. 

Quality Control (QC) is a procedure or set of procedures (evaluation of blank and spiked samples, instrument performance test) applied for testing compliance with specific quality criteria or requirements for the analytical performance of an instrument.

In Field Chemical Analysis sampling and analysis is carried out on-site. In this case, there is need for applying on-site QA/QC practices to increase data quality and get reliable data. The combination of appropriate QA/QC procedures together with skilled personnel results in valid and more usable field data.

Now, a new hand portable instrument, allows application of QA/QC in the field, increases field data reliability and reduces the need for highly skilled and trained operators. FemtoMachine® PRO is a unique field vapor generator and calibrator (watch our video, download the brochure and the datasheet).

FemtoMachine® PRO: Miniaturized calibrator and dynamic vapor generator for calibrating sensors/detectors/analyzers in the field

What FemtoMachine® PRO is 

T4i FemtoMachine® PRO is a credible, robust, handheld vapor generator designed to produce constant vapor plumes of chemicals (TICs/VOCs) in the lab and outdoors. 

Complying with different standards and being NIST and UKAS traceable, FemtoMachine® Pro is a reliable calibrator for field instruments. The user selects concentration levels for a large number of chemicals in the low ppm/high ppb range to calibrate and test chemical sensors/detectors/analyzers.

How it works

  • produces continuous TICs/VOCs vapor plumes at pre-defined, fully controlled concentration levels. No use of pressurized gas cylinders is needed.
  • uses standard permeation tubes for a broad range of TICs and VOCs. The user uploads a method for unattended production of pre-selected stable concentration.
  • has unique innovative, stand-alone, operation; the right selection for generating vapor plumes anywhere, anytime; to be used in exercises and training with chemical detectors.

FemtoMachine® PRO: Principles of operation 

  • Heating a liquid in sealed polymer tube at constant temperature(oven) and diffusion of its vapors through the polymer tube
  • Mixing at constant temperature vapors with constant flow of clean, dry air (oven)
  • Dilution of mixture at constant temperature with constant flow of clean, dry air
  • Splitting mixture at constant temperature   
  • Bake-out for cleaning 
  • Cooling effectively and efficiently 
  • Vapor Condensation elimination 
  • Purging of ambient air
  • Vapor permeation

Technologies used in FemtoMachine® PRO 

  • Two independent gas streams; (1) clean dry air, (2) mixture of clean, dry air with liquid vapors
  • Heating zones for rigorous and homogeneous temperature control
  • Pumps providing constant pressure and stable gas streams flow at ambient pressure
  • Standard Inlet for adapting gas cylinders
  • Selective mass flow controllers for flow accuracy
  • Molecular sieves traps for producing clean, dry air and for eliminating vapors release in the environment
  • Multiple levels of safety and security
  • ACA (Assist, Control, Alert) Firmware for fully autonomous operation  
  • Symbiotic Engine software based on ACA (Assist, Control, Alert) 
  • Diagnostics tool

“Symbiotic Engine” software for FemtoMachine®

  • Unique software that exploits and shares hardware, software and firmware resources
  • Buttons that launch a sequence of commands or automate operations
  • Efficient authorization and authentication
  • On line diagnostics and messaging
Symbiotic Engine for FemtoMachine® PRO
© 2021 T4i Engineering

FemtoMachine® PRO: The unique and only field chemical calibrator 

Exciting design

  • NIST and UKAS traceable by design
  • Dimensions: 30 x 22 x 7.4 cm (11.7 x 8.7 x 2.9 inches)
  • Versatility: Connections with sensors, detectors, analyzers, syringe sampler, Tedlar® bags
  • Self-diagnostics
  • Authorization and authentication
  • Inventory of permeation tubes
  • Bake-out for cleaning “heavy” residuals

Robust engineering

  • Ultra-stable and inert internal surfaces
  • Accurate temperature control
  • Flow accuracy better than 2.5%
  • Stable and accurate concentrations
  • IP66
  • Autonomous operation
  • Real time monitoring
  • Standards compliance: IPC-A-610, ISO EN6145-10:2019, ISO EN6145-1:2019, ISO EN6143:2006, ISO EN6145-7:2019, ISO EN60529:2001, CE certified, RoHS

Technology made simple

  • Screen buttons operation
  • Message box, acoustic and visual alarms
  • On-line Simulator for calculating flows for selected concentration
  • On-line Software Assistant available

See our brochure and the datasheet

Frequently asked questions

What FEMTOMACHINE® PRO is and what is used for?

-It is a small, easy-to-use device that produces dry air streams enriched with constant concentrations of chemical compounds that can be used in:

  • calibration of chemical analytical instruments, chemical detectors and chemical sensors

Additionally, it can be used when airflow production is required with a specific concentration of a chemical compound in:

• environmental studies

• modeling of chemical dispersion

• testing chemical analytical devices, detectors, sensors

• operational exercises (fire service and other operational organizations)

-Is FEMTOMACHINE® PRO used to produce stable concentrations of gases, liquids or solids?

-It is used for gases and vapors. Gases are substances that at 1 atm and 25 0C are in a gaseous state. Liquid vapors are the gaseous state of liquids, i.e., substances that at 1atm and 20 0C are in liquid state.

-What concentrations does FEMTOMACHINE® PRO produce?

– Here we have a gas mixture of chemical compound and dry clean air. Expressions for concentration include:

Percent by volume concentration, % vol (w / v or v / v): Expresses grams or cubic centimeters (or mL) of the chemical in 100 cubic centimeters (or mL) of the mixture.

Parts in million (ppm): Express the parts in cubic centimeters (or mL) of the chemical in 1000000 centimeters (or mL) of the mixture. It can also express the g of the chemical in 10000000 g of the mixture. It can also be expressed in g / m3.

Parts in billion (ppb): Express the parts in cubic centimeters (or mL) of the chemical in 1000000000 centimeters (or mL) of the mixture. It can also express the g of the chemical in 10000000000 g of the mixture. It can also be expressed in mg / m3.

Parts in Trillion (ppt): Express the parts in cubic centimeters (or mL) of the chemical to 1012 centimeters (or mL) of the mixture. It can also express the g of the chemical in 1013 g of the mixture. It can also be expressed in μg / m3

The FEMTO from which FEMTOMACHINE® got its name is an extreme concentration with the parts of the chemical in the 1015 parts of the mixture. As a unit of length 10-15 is the size of about one proton!

-What does FEMTOMACHINE® PRO use for dry air?

-The chemicals produced are mixed with clean air to create the proper concentration and flow. This air carries the chemical (carrier gas). Dry air is used to create concentrations of chemical compounds, i.e., air that has no moisture. In particular this air must contain little or no organic components. The air used by FEMTOMACHINE® PRO is the ambient air. A pump draws in air from the environment and then drives it to scrubbers that clean it. Air that contains less than 1 ppm of organic matter is called zero air. Using the right type of molecular sieves in the scrubbers of FEMTOMACHINE® PRO we achieve air purification and excellent drying. 

-What is permeability?

In FEMTOMACHINE® PRO the chemical for creating a constant flow concentration is produced from a small plastic tube in the shape of a cylinder that is filled with a certain amount of liquid chemical and then closed tightly and sealed. This plastic pipe (permeation tube) is placed in the oven at a specific and controlled temperature.

-What is Accuracy and Repeatability

-Accuracy is how close the produced concentration of the chemical in FEMTOMACHINE® PRO is to the true value and Repeatability how much is the dispersion of this concentration.

-What is amazing about the design of FEMTOMACHINE® PRO?

-Miniaturization, versatility, suitable for use in the field (onsite), simplicity, technology made simple characterize FEMTOMACHINE® PRO. It is the smallest device of its kind and the only one for use outside the laboratory. It can calibrate gases and liquids and can be used both in the laboratory and in the field. It is portable and can calibrate all kinds of chemical analyzers. It has a unique software (Symbiotic Engine) that is combined with the firmware and hardware to run FEMTOMACHINE PRO. Operation is based on screen buttons (control module). The monitor module allows control of the calibrator in real time giving constant reporting and alarms. The message box module provides continuous reporting and recording of actions. There is a detailed file (inventory) of stored permeation tubes. The capability of self-diagnosis (diagnostics) helps in the timely maintenance of the device.

An important tool is the on-line modeling of the device that allows to adjust the appropriate conditions in order to achieve a specific concentration and a specific output flow.

-How robust is FEMTOMACHINE® PRO for the field?

-The materials for the various parts have been properly selected and a bake and shake (test) procedure has been performed on the device. An IP test has been performed for water tightness and dust ingress and the   packaging has been subjected to a UVA test.

-How much does FEMTOMACHINE® PRO cost? -We connect you with our sales department for information regarding the cost. There are significant discounts for Universities and Research Organizations, as well as, for other categories of users

T4i FemtoMachine® PRO

For more information contact us at info@t4ieng.com