week 1: principles and practices

assignment for the week

1. plan and sketch a potential final project

learning outcomes

1. Communicate an initial project proposal.

have i

1. sketched my final project idea/s
2. described what it will do and who will use it

my goal for the week

1. Sketch a generic layout of a mass spectrometer

a very brief and general introduction to mass spectrometers

Mass spectrometers come in various flavors. Layout of a typical mass spectrometer is shown in Figure 1.1 below. Its major components include:

a. a sample inlet: for introducing the sample into the mass spectrometer, can be direct injection, or eluate of a gas or liquid chromatograph;
b. an ion source: for generating gas-phase ions of analytes in the sample;
c. an m/z analyzer: for separating analyte ions (formed in the previous step) on the basis of their m/z values;
d. a detector: for generating a signal for the ions that hit it, and recording their m/z values and abundances (as intensities); and
e. a data acquisition and analysis system: for operating the mass spectrometer to acquire data; and for post-processing of raw data


Figure 1.1: Layout of a typical mass spectrometer showing its major components: a sample inlet; an ion source; an m/z analyzer; a detector; and a data acquisition and analysis system.

There are different options (or designs) available for all parts of a mass spectrometer, but not every design of each part is compatible with every design of the other parts, and so mass spectrometers of different configurations are available from various instrument manufacturers. When buying a mass spectrometer, the applications (or purposes) for which it is needed is a major criterion influencing the choice of configuration.

project idea

deserves a page of its own ...