Abstract The mass analyzer is the heart of the mass spectrometer. It separates (in vacuum) ions according to their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios and subsequently records their intensities. Different physical principals can be used for the separation of ions. Basic types of mass analyzers are listed in this section in order of increasing performance and price with the emphasis on analyzers typical in HPLC/MS and GC/MS coupling. The performance of mass analyzers is characterized by several parameters, such as the resolution (i.e. the ability to separate ions with very small differences in their m/z values), mass accuracy (i.e. the uncertainty in the determined m/z values), mass range, possibility of MS/MS measurement, precision of isotopic pattern.
KeywordsMass-to-charge (m/z), Analyzer, Resolution, Mass accuracy, Elemental composition, Exact mass, Quadrupole, Ion trap, Time-of-flight
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