Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry (MS) is used to identify substances by molecular weight. Elemental compositions may be confirmed by accurate mass, and the structure and chemical properties of molecules may be elucidated using tandem MS. Detection can be accomplished with minute quantities. When coupled with appropriate separation techniques, MS can identify compounds at low concentrations in complex mixtures.


The mass spectrometry lab in the Department of Chemistry provides the following analytical capabilities:

  • Direct and flow injection
  • Separation method development for LCMS
  • Accurate mass analysis on the TOF (ESI or APCI, positive and negative ion)
  • Tandem MS and quantitation methods development
  • Elucidation of volatile mixtures (GCMS)


Manufacturer and Model Technique Ionization Analyzer Mass Limit
Thermo Electron TSQ LCMS ESI Triple Quad 20 kD
Agilent 6220 LCMS ESI, APCI TOF 20 kD
Hewlett-Packard MSD GCMS EI Single Quad 600 D
Hybrid Quadrupole TOF 100 kD

Ordering Analyses

To order a MS analysis of a sample, please provide the sample, the sample submission form, and Interdepartmental Service Request (ISR) to the lab during business hours. Instructions for creating an ISR can be found here. (Commercial customers should contact Geno Iannaccone ( to make arrangements to submit a purchase order.) Services are rendered only after an ISR has been processed.

Pure solid or liquid samples are acceptable. Solutions should be dissolved at a nominal concentration of 1 mg/ml, preferably in methanol. Samples must be completely labeled, and the submission form must be fully executed prior to receiving service. Service is provided on a first come, first served basis, but emergencies will get higher priority when possible.

Sample Submission Forms