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Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS)

Mass spectrometers are commonly combined with separation devices such as gas chromatographs (GC) and liquid chromatographs (LC). The GC or LC separates the components in a mixture, and the components are introduced, one by one, into the mass spectrometer. MS/MS is an analogous technique where the first-stage separation device is another mass spectrometer.

Summary of the characteristics of different mass analyzers

All mass spectrometers combine ion formation, mass analysis, and ion detection. This discussion is concerned with how various mass analyzers are used to separate ions according to their massto- charge ratio. Each mass analyzer has its own special characteristics and applications and its own benefits and limitations. The choice of mass analyzer should be based upon the application, cost, and performance desired. There is no ideal mass analyzer that is good for all applications. For an excellent and more complete discussion of mass analyzers, see "The Ideal Mass Analyzer: Fact or Fiction?" (Curt Brunnee, Int. J. Mass Spectrom. Ion Proc. 76 (1987), 125-237.

Ionization Methods in Organic Mass Spectrometry

A mass spectrometer works by using magnetic and electric fields to exert forces on charged particles (ions) in a vacuum. Therefore, a compound must be charged or ionized to be analyzed by a mass spectrometer. Furthermore, the ions must be introduced in the gas phase into the vacuum system of the mass spectrometer. This is easily done for gaseous or heat-volatile samples. However, many (thermally labile) analytes decompose upon heating. These kinds of samples require either desorption or desolvation methods if they are to be analyzed by mass spectrometry. Although ionization and desorption/desolvation are usually separate processes, the term "ionization method" is commonly used to refer to both ionization and desorption (or desolvation) methods. The choice of ionization method depends on the nature of the sample and the type of information required from the analysis. So-called 'soft ionization' methods such as field desorption and electrospray ionization tend to produce mass spectra with little or no fragment-ion content.

Analytical Instruments Documents

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Corona - Glow Discharge (DART Ion Source)

February 22, 2020
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