Microplastics are a ubiquitous presence in the world, found from Arctic snow to Antarctic ice and everywhere in between. There are trillions of microplastic particles floating on surface water, and everyone from infants to adults are presumed to be ingesting anywhere from dozens to tens of thousands of these particles every day.
The first Time-of-Flight (TOF) mass spectrometer was proposed in 1946, and the design has been refined and iterated upon every since.
With an unlimited mass range visible in each spectrum and a high spectral generation speed, the advantages of TOF mass spectrometry were immediately clear. Though the instruments improved, they did eventually hit physical limitations that restricted the resolving power. More work had to be done.