Basics of mass spectrometry

Abstract Mass spectrometry is used for the structural elucidation or confirmation of organic, bioorganic and organometallic compounds and for quantitative analysis in environmental, pharmaceutical, forensic, food/feed, and other sciences. The first step in the measurement is the conversion of neutral molecules to charged species (i.e. ions), which are then separated according to their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio in a mass analyzer. The relative abundances of individual m/z values are recorded by a suitable detector to produce what is known as a mass spectrum. Mass spectrometry can be coupled to both gas-phase and liquid-phase separation techniques, enabling the structural analysis of complex mixtures after their chromatographic separation without time consuming off-line isolation.

KeywordsMass analyzer, Mass-to-charge, Ionization, Ion separation, Detection, Tandem mass spectrometry


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