Mass spectrometers are high-tech devices used to separate and analyze chemical substances at the molecular level, useful for a number of industries but especially defense and homeland security. The Griffin E-Team from Purdue developed an improved mass spectrometer that is smaller, cheaper, and better than older systems. By using cylinders as the chemical analyzer, the device was made easy to miniaturize, thereby taking up less lab space, costing less, and making the device more sensitive and more accurate.
The team has gone on to successfully commercialize the technology, founding Griffin Analytical, Inc. and winning a number of grants and awards. The company has forty-five employees and is growing rapidly.
Each year, CNN profiles a select group of young people who are rocking the world. Former NCIIA E-Team Ecovative Design, who has developed a green replacement for styrofoam and building insulation, was recently featured.