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Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS) is a powerful analytical technique that combines the resolving power of liquid chromatography with the detection specificity of mass spectrometry. Liquid chromatography (LC) separates the sample components and then introduces them to the mass spectrometer (MS). The MS creates and detects charged ions. The LC/MS data may be used to provide information about the molecular weight, structure, identity and quantity of specific sample components.

Instrument uses

The LC-MS determines the indentity and concentrations of the components in dilute, liquid sample mixtures. It works best for the following applications:

  • aqueous samples such as cell extracts, plasma or environmental samples
  • non-volatile compounds such as polar molecules
  • heat sensitive molecules such as proteins
  • presence and concentration of a specific target compounds


  • Manufacturer: Waters Corporation (Milford, MA) and its affiliate, Micromass.
  • LC: Waters Alliance 2690 Separations Module with
    • up to four solvents mixing in gradient or isocratic mode
    • continuous seal wash system
    • inline vacuum degassing
    • refrigerated autosampler compartment
    • heated column compartment
  • MS: Waters-Micromass ZQ2000 Mass Spectrometer
    • electrospray ionization probe (atmospheric pressure)
    • Z-spray extraction system (dual orthoganol sample cones)
    • cone gas to minimize cone fouling
    • hexapole for ion focusing
    • single quadropole system
    • photomultiplier system to prevent electron mulitplier fouling
  • UV/VIS: This instrument can accomadate a Waters 996 photodiode array detector in series or parallel to the MS
  • Data System: Masslynx software for instrument control and data analysis

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