Education

Mass spectrometry topics

Mass spectrometry consists of three major components – making ions from the sample to be analyzed, sorting the ions out according to their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z), and measuring how many of them there are. The analysis of the ions occurs at very low pressure (10-6 to 10-10 torr) and therefore mass spectrometers are characterized by the noise of turbomolecular pumps.

Making the sample suitable for generating ions is a very important consideration. Similarly, there are issues of large data transfer, data storage and complex levels of data interpretation to consider. These are dealt with elsewhere.