Mass spectrometers determine the mass/charge and abundance of ionised analytes. Mass spectrometers consist of three basic components, a source, and analyser and a detector. Ions are introduced into the mass spectrometer via the source. The internal environment is kept under constant vaccuum and ions. The analyser separates analytes by mass/charge ratio (m/z) using electromagnets. The detector uses electron multipliers to detects the analytes after separation. The detectors are able to measure the abundance of analytes. The resultant data is an m/z and an intensity value for each analyte. The speed and resolution is dependent on the type of analyser used. There are numerous types of analyser and they are often used in series. There are therefore many configurations of mass spectrometers. It is important to select the right type of mass spectrometer for the type of analyses required.
Spectral viewer software, for visualising the data produced by mass spectrometry
Quality control software is used to ensure that the mass spectrometry analysis was successful