Mass Spectrometry

Ionization Methods and Instrumentation
  • John R. Chapman
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 61)


Mass spectrometry (MS) (1) is one of the most important physical methods in analytical chemistry today A particular advantage of MS, compared with other molecular spectroscopies, is its high sensitivity, so that it provides one of the few methods that is entirely suitable for the identification or quantitative measurement of trace amounts of chemicals. A mass spectrometer, in its simplest form, is designed to perform the following three basic functions:
  1. 1.

    Produce gas-phase ions from sample molecules. This is accomplished in the ion source and, at one time, would normally have required these neutral molecules to be already in the vapor state. New ionization techniques have, however, extended thus process to neutral molecules which are essentially in a solid (condensed) state or in solution.

  2. 2.

    Separate gas-phase ions according to their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio. Thus takes place in the analyzer.

  3. 3.

    Detect and record the separated ions



Mass Analyzer Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Collision Cell Ionization Technique Charged Droplet 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Chapman
    • 1
  1. 1.ManchesterUK

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