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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry


Instrumentation in the Mass Spectrometry Center

The Mass Spectrometry Center, located in the John M. Palms Center for Graduate Science Research room 108, is equipped with ten mass spectrometers, various types of liquid chromatographs, and a charged aerosol detector (CAD).

The instrumentation was funded, in part, by grant support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as a gift from Glaxo-Wellcome. Fee schedules are flat across the university and determined on a per-sample basis. The Agilent Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer is also available at a daily rate. The ICP-MS fees are based on hourly instrument and sample preparation time. Contact the director for a current fee schedule.

Corresponding pictures are located in the Instrumentation image gallery.

Agilent Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer

This instrument is a benchtop quadrupole mass spectrometer with unit resolution and a gas chromatograph for sample introduction.  The gas chromatograph is an Agilent 6890N model with an autoinjector.

Bruker Ultraflex II MALDI TOF/TOF (Image 1)

This instrument is a tandem time-of-flight (TOF/TOF) mass spectrometer that relies on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization for sample introduction (MALDI).  It is useful for molecular mass determination of large molecules, including biomolecules and synthetic polymers.  It is also capable of rapid, highly sensitive protein microsequencing and identification.

Finnigan TSQ (Image 2)

This is a triple quadrupole instrument capable of tandem mass spectrometric analyses (MS/MS).  It is usually used with a gas chromatograph and is capable of either electron impact ionization or electron capture negative ionization.

Micromass QTOF (Image 3)

This instrument is also a tandem quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometer.  It is capable of operating in unit mass resolution and high mass resolution modes.  It can use either electrospray ionization or atmospheric pressure chemical ionization techniques.  Samples are typically introduced by direct injection of a solution or through a liquid chromatograph.

Micromass QTOF API-USA (Image 4)

This is a newer version of the quadrupole/time of flight mass spectrometer described above.  It differs in the capacity to use nanospray ionization with a capillary or nano liquid chromatograph for sample introduction.

Micromass Quattro-LC (Image 5)

This instrument is a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization or atmospheric pressure chemical ionization capabilities.  Samples are typically introduced to this system through a liquid chromatograph.  It can be used in MS and MS/MS modes for qualitative and quantitative analyses.

Micromass Quattro-Premier (Image 6)

This is a newer and more sensitive version of the Quattro-LC system described above.  Samples are typically introduced through an ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) system.

Orbitrap Velos Pro (Image 7)

The Orbitrap Velos Pro is a hybrid mass spectrometer consisting of a linear ion trap and an orbitrap mass analyzer.  Sample introduction is via a Dionex Ultimate 3000 RSLCnano liquid chromatograph using either electrospray ionization or nanospray ionization.  This spectrometer is capable of high-resolution LC-MS and LC-MS/MS, including data-dependent selection of precursor ions.  Fragmentation modes include CID (collision-induced dissociation), HCD (higher energy collisional dissociation) and ETD (electron-transfer dissociation).

Thermo-Finnigan Element XR ICP-MS (Image 8)

This instrument is a high-resolution magnetic sector mass spectrometer with an inductively coupled argon plasma ionization system.  Samples can be introduced directly or through an ion chromatograph.  It is capable of qualitative and quantitative determination of elements in mixtures.  It is a high-sensitivity instrument, and a restricted-access clean room (class 1000) is available for sample preparation.

VG 70S (Images 9 and 10)

The MS Center has two double-focusing magnetic sector mass spectrometers.  They are used to obtain electron impact and chemical ionization spectra of compounds introduced by either GC, direct probe, or direct exposure probe.  There is a fast atom bombardment ion source available for non-volatile or ionic compounds.  The instruments are capable of high-resolution mass measurement in several ionization modes.