Different Types of Mass Spec Instruments

What is Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry deals with the quantifying and qualifying of the molecular components of a sample. Ideal for chemical testing, testing for soil and water quality, pharmaceutical potency and structure, cannabis testing, and other bioscience research, spectrometry is now a broad and varied field.

Like the field itself, spectrometry equipment is diverse and varies from specialty to specialty. 

At OnePointe Solutions, we can design MS carts and benches to fit the specifications of virtually any lab, including those utilizing instruments from the following fields of spectrometry:

Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry is used to determine the mass-to-charge ratio of a sample containing at least one molecule. Mass spec is used to not only quantify the known components of a sample, but also to identify and qualify the unknown components of a sample. 

Mass spectrometers use a combination of heat and vacuum pressure to vaporize samples, then push the vapor through a ‘smasher’ that separates the molecular components for sorting. The molecules are then each weighed, giving researchers the necessary information to identify the various components of the sample and begin to analyze its molecular structure.

Mass spectrometry is used in a huge number of applications including: 

  • Biofuel generation
  • Pesticide screening
  • Clinical drug development
  • Disease screening
  • Crime scene analytics

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

Like mass spectrometry, HPLC is a method used to qualify and quantify the different components of a sample. In the case of HPLC, the sample is analyzed in liquid rather than vapor form.

In this process, the sample is mixed with a liquid solvent, then pressurized and passed through a column. Each component of the sample interacts differently with the absorbent material within the column, automatically sorting the various parts of the sample.

HPLC is frequently used in: 

  • Pharmaceutical drug development
  • Narcotics and drug detection
  • Nutrient analysis
  • Species identification
  • Cannabis testing

Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Used for detecting, sorting, and quantifying the chemical components of the sample, GCMS pulls from both gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to make discoveries. This method is used when components will not degrade due to heat exposure.

First, the sample is heated to initiate the separation of molecules. The sample molecules are then mixed with inert gas, like helium, and sent through a column. Next, the molecules emerge into the mass spectrometer where they are sorted and identified.

GCMS is frequently used in: 

  • Criminal forensics
  • Chemical engineering
  • Food and beverage analysis
  • Perfume analysis
  • Metabolic disease screening and detection

Need a Custom Instrument Bench?

The custom manufacturing team at OnePointe Solutions can provide fully custom benches for specific mass spec instruments. Whether you need vacuum pump enclosures, sound dampening, LCD monitors arms, or something else, we design heavy-duty steel lab benches for your exact instrument needs.

Contact us by calling (866) 612-7312 or filling out a contact form. A sales rep will reach out by phone or email to discuss your needs and send you drawings and pricing.

Questions? Concerns? Want to start today? Get in touch. 866.612.7312

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