Enhanced Multiplexing in Fourier Transform Charge Detection Mass Spectrometry by Decoupling Ion Frequency from Mass to Charge Ratio

  • Conner C. Harper
  • Evan R. WilliamsEmail author
Research Article


Weighing single ions with charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) makes it possible to obtain the masses of molecules of essentially unlimited size even in highly heterogeneous samples, but producing a mass histogram that is representative of all of the components in a mixture requires substantial measurement time. Multiple ions can be trapped to reduce analysis time but ion signals can overlap. To determine the maximum gains in analysis speed possible with current instrumentation with multiple ion trapping, simulations calculating the frequency and overlap rate of ions with different mass, charge, and energy ranges were performed. For an analyte with a broad mass distribution, such as long chain polyethylene glycol (PEG, 8 MDa), gains in analysis speed of up to 160 times that of prior CDMS experiments are possible. For signals from homogeneous samples, ions with the same m/z have frequencies that overlap and interfere, reducing the effectiveness of multiplexing in experiments where ions have the same energy per charge. We show that by maximizing the decoupling of ion m/z from frequency using a broad range of ion energies, the rate of signal overlap is significantly reduced making it possible to trap more ions. Under optimum decoupling conditions, a measurement speed nearly 50 times greater than that of prior CDMS experiments is possible for RuBisCO (517 kDa). The reduction in overlap due to decoupling also results in more accurate quantitation in samples that contain multiple analytes with different concentrations.


CDMS Charge detection mass spectrometry Multiplexing Fourier transform Megadalton Ion energy Ion frequency High-throughput Decoupling Native MS 



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under CHE-1609866.

Supplementary material

13361_2019_2330_MOESM1_ESM.txt (3 kb)
ESM 1 (TXT 3 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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