Decide what type of spectrum you want
Low Resolution Scan
A low resolution scan is a complete mass spectrum. It
may show the molecular ion and/or fragment ions. Masses are generally
accurate to within a few tenths of a Da.
High Resolution Scan
If you wish to confirm or determine the elemental composition
of your compound, you will need a high resolution (EI
, and FAB
only) mass spectrum. The mass is determined to
four decimal places, and a computer program calculates elemental
compositions that are within experimental error of that mass.
Normally, you would have only the molecular ion measured, but
it is possible to measure several or all of the peaks in a spectrum.
If your compound does not fragment in the mass spectrometer and
you wish to obtain fragmentation for structural determination,
you need MS/MS
only). The most common use
of MS/MS is for the sequencing of peptides. If you are using isotopic
labeling, you need an isotope ratio
mass spectrum. Comparing
the mass spectrum of your labeled and unlabeled compounds will
tell you the amount of enrichment.
If your sample is a mixture,
and you want a mass spectrum of one or more components, you will
(EI, CI, or FI) or LC/MS
In these techniques, the effluent is directed into the mass spectrometer,
where a spectrum of each component is obtained as it elutes from