School of EPS: Current Staff & Students

EPS Current Students and Staff

Uses of Mass Spectrometry

Whole books could be written about the many and varied uses to which Mass Spectrometry (MS) techniques can be put. Here are some of the main ones that both previous and current MS users have found.

  • ESI and low resolution EI experiments are useful for a quick identification of your product when your sample is reasonably pure and you have a good idea of what your sample is. Low res EI can also give you useful fragmentation data. Conversely, ESI can give you confirmation of the molar mass of your compound from the presence of additional adduct or ion-cluster peaks.

  • High Resolution EI (ie EI Accurate Mass) is typically used for a more rigorous identification of your product, in terms of the molecular formula of your compound. Thus, we really need the correct formula. There have been cases where people have made some spectacularly silly errors in their formulaes. There is no need for such errors, as people will have access to software such as Chemdraw which can be used to calculate accurate masses (very handy for the arithmetically challanged!)

We do like to be able to provide you the user with a meaningful positive result (especially when trying to solve a truely unknown sample), but you know the old saying "Garbage in, Garbage out!", hence there is a requirement for users of all of the analytical services to "think before you submit!".

Note that for solving unknown structures, good NMR and Mass Spectral results will aid you to identify exactly what you have made, and if your sample crystallises then an X-Ray structure determination will complete the picture. All of our analytical techniques can provide you the user with COMPLIMENTARY information - like fitting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. There is nothing like the feeling of satisfaction that one can experience after sucessfully identifying the molecular structure of a difficult unknown compound!

Links to the rest of the Mass Spectrometry Service web pages are listed below for your convenience:-

Please contact  Dr Georgina Rosair   for further information.