Mass spectrometry involves the ionization of a sample to produce either positive or negative ions. These are accelerated in a vacuum system and the mass of the intact molecule determined. In addition the masses of fragments produced during the ionisation processes can be determined to give structural information. Accurate mass measurement of the molecular ions can lead to the determination of elemental composition. A study of the fragmentation patterns can lead to the identification of unknown reaction products through computer library matching. “Soft” ionization techniques such as Chemical Ionization, (CI), Liquid Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (LSIMS, - often called FAB), Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption / Ionization (MALDI), Electrospray Ionization (ESI) and Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization (APCI) can be used to reduce fragmentation and enhance the abundance of the intact molecular ion.
Coupling of chromatography (gas or liquid) to mass spectrometry allows separation and analysis of mixtures. These techniques of GC/MS and LC/MS assist in the identification of organic compounds from a wide variety of sources: synthetic, natural or biomedical.
Swansea University offers a range of activities to School and College students via their Outreach Programme. Including the following two interactive talks given by the Mass Spectrometry Facility staff:
Investigation into Accurate Mass Capability of MALDI-TOFMS, with respect to Organometallic and Highly Conjugated Compounds - Talk given by Mark Wyatt at the 27th BMSS Conference (2004) in Derby, UK.
Mass Spectral Quality - Talk given by Bridget Stein at RSC meeting in London on 6th June 2006.
MALDI-TOFMS analysis of coordination and organometallic complexes: a nic(h)e area to work in - Talk given by Mark Wyatt at the 32nd BMSS Conference (2011) in Cardiff, UK.
ChemistryViews, Mark F. Wyatt You're Studying What by MALDI-TOFMS!?
Summary of J. Mass Spectrom., 2011, 46, 712-719. DOI: 10.1002/jms.1957.
Xiaojuan Bai, Bridget K. Stein, Keith Smith, David H. Isaac Effects of reprocessing on additives in ABS plastics, detected by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry Prog. Rubber Plast. Re., 2012, 28, 1-14.
Vicki Barwick, John Langley, Tony Mallet, Bridget Stein, Ken Webb
Best practice guide for generating mass spectra
produced with support from the Valid Analytical Measurement (VAM) programme (www.vam.org.uk)
Date: 29/01/2007 Ref No: ISBN: 978 0 948926 24 2 Type: Guide
Ken Webb, Tony Bristow, Mike Sargent and Bridget Stein,
Methodology for Accurate Mass Measurement of Small Molecules - Best Practice Guide
produced with support from the VIMMS programme (www.vam.org.uk)
Date: November 2004 Ref No: ISBN 0-948926-22-8 Type: Guide
Anthony W. T. Bristow and Kenneth S. Webb
Intercomparison study on accurate mass measurement of small molecules in mass spectrometry.
J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., Vol, 14, Issue 10, October 2003, Pages 1086-1098