Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a mass spectrometer

1. What factors come into play when determining the MS specifications you require in terms of throughput, sensitivity, robustness, software control, ease of use, and ease of maintenance?

2. What differentiates the vendor’s MS from others offered, in terms of performance and how easy it would be to upgrade?

3. How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?

4. Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with lab workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?

5. What are important price points to keep in mind when selecting a MS?

6. Laboratories need fast and effective services, including an effective distribution of spare parts, instruments, service personnel and education/ training. How does the company serve these needs globally?

The types of mass spectrometers our readers have recently purchased or are planning on buying for their laboratories, based on our most recent MS survey:

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry 3%
GC-MS 28%
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) 14%
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) 7%
Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) 3%
Time-of-Flight (TOF) 13%
Triple Quad 19%
Don’t Know 9%
Other 5%

The following are the primary areas our surveyed readers are using their mass spectrometers for in their labs:

Forensic analysis 9%
Environmental analysis 21%
Clinical analysis 11%
Food safety and testing analysis 8%
Biomarker & omics research 5%
Polymer science 4%
Drug discovery research 7%
Geological analysis 4%
Molecular biology 3%
Biochemistry 9%
Other 16%

The top 10 features that our readers found the most important in deciding to purchase an a mass spectrometer include:

  Important Not Important Don’t Know
High sensitivity/reliability 93% 5% 2%
Higher quality of data 91% 5% 4%
Ease of maintenance 90% 9% 1%
Data output, storage and retrieval 79% 18% 4%
Warranties 77% 15% 4%
High mass accuracy 75% 22% 3%
Training 74% 20% 6%
High mass resolution 73% 26% 15%
Onsite service/support 72% 25% 3%
Fast scanning speed 71% 26% 3%

8040 Triple Quadrupole LC-MS
• Incorporates newly improved ion optics (UF-LensTM, which integrate two multi-pole RF ion guides, and UFsweeper™ II collision cell technology
• Provides higher multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) sensitivity
• Other improvements also yield higher sensitivity for scan mode measurements, expanding the potential range of LC/MS/MS applications
• Features very fast polarity, switching at 15 msec


LC/MS Purification System
• Features a large mass range from 50-3000 amu and scan speeds up to 10,000 amu/sec
• Allows users to increase efficiencies by choosing to collect fractions using conditional logic based on any combination of UV/VIS, DAD, ELSD and up to seven MS Channels
• Quick-connect probes allow easy switching between applications and/or users without breaking vacuum


Exactive Plus Benchtop LC-MS System
• Includes Thermo Scientific Orbitrap technology
• Extends the capabilities of the Exactive system with advanced signal processing, ion optics and transmission technologies
• Features full field upgradeability to the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive high-performance quadrupole-Orbitrap LC-MS/MS system
• Produces full-scan HR/AM data, minimizing tedious MS method development and allowing retrospective data analysis

Thermo Fisher Scientific

expression™ Compact Mass Spectrometer
• Provides high performance
• Half the size and half the price of conventional single quadrupole systems
• Compact size allows it to be placed in a fume hood or on the bench for direct access and immediate results for chemists in a variety of disciplines that require mass confirmation, reaction monitoring, QC and purity analysis


Mass Spectrometer Manufacturers

Applied Biosystems
EST Analytical
GBC Scientific
Hitachi High Technologies
Thermo Fisher Scientific