Mass Spectrometry


Mass spectrometry is a type of analysis that involves ionization of the molecules you are trying to analyze, then separating those ions according to their mass/charge ratio. Determining the mass of intact molecular ions (or fragments of those molecular ions) leads to a powerful tool for identifying unknown substances.

The mass spectrometers in Kutztown's arsenal are attached to both liquid and gas chromatographs.

Shimadzu 8040 Liquid Chromatograph Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

This instrument has an automated liquid chromatographic (LC) front end comprised of two mobile phase pumps, and temperature-controlled autosampler, and a column oven.  The detector is a tandem mass spectrometer which includes two quadrupole mass filters with a collision cell in between. This type of detector is capable of selectively discriminating analytes from background noise and other components to achieve phenomenal detection limits. To learn more about this particular instrument click here.

Shimadzu 8040 liquid chromatograph triple quadrupole mass spectrometer
Agilent 6890 gas chromatograph with 5973 mass spectrometer

Our Agilent 6890 GC is controlled by Chemstation software, and is fitted with a 120 -sample autosampler. The capillary column in this GC is capable of separating components from very complex mixtures. The 5973 MS detector uses electron ionization and a compact single quadrupole mass filter. Not only is it capable of detecting minuscule amounts of analytes in samples, but it can also provide information regarding the identity of each component in the mixture. For more details regarding this instrument click here.