Mass Spectrometers (by Mass Analyzer)

Mass Spectrometers by Mass Analyzer

The mass analyzer is the part of the mass spectrometer that separates the ionized masses based on their mass-to-charge ratio (m/z). Choosing the correct mass analyzer often comes down to the field of use—for example, time of flight’s wide mass range lends itself to proteomics research, while triple-quad mass analyzers are often used in the pharmaceutical industry. Biochemistry, clinical chemistry, food safety, and environmental testing also make use of mass spectrometry.

What Are Some Different Types of Mass Analyzers?

A quadrupole mass analyzer separates ions using an electric field, by use of four parallel charged rods. There are many types of quadrupole mass spectrometers, including triple-quadrupole (QqQ), with three tandem quads, and Q-TOF, in which a TOF mass analyzer takes the place of the third quadrupole. Time of flight instruments measure the time it takes for the ion to travel through the flight tube, and come in single-stage and tandem TOF-TOF configurations. Ion trap mass spectrometers are well known for providing detailed structural information.

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