Your Complete Resource Center for All Things Mass Spec

Learn everything you need to know about mass spectrometry. Use this page as your knowledge hub for mass spectrometry, capillary electrophoresis and related liquid chromatography technologies. And find out how advanced detection can benefit your lab.

What is Mass Spectrometry?

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytic technique that ionizes and detects the identity and quantity of a compound based on its mass-to-charge ratio. A typical MS procedure ionizes a sample and separates the ions by their mass-to-charge ratio.

Mass spectrometers use various techniques to measure the molecular mass of compounds. A mass spectrometer is composed of an ion source, a mass analyzer, a detector, and a computer work station. The ion source converts a sample compound into ions. Then the mass analyzer filters the ions through an electric or magnetic field to measure their mass-to-charge ratio and sorts them accordingly. The separated ions enter the detector, which produces a signal that is then sent to the computer work station.

What is Capillary Electrophoresis

Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) is an analytical technique often used in protein characterization, carbohydrate analysis, DNA sequencing and genetic analysis, glycosylation, and the discovery and development of drugs. The CE process involves the separation of both large and small molecules by way of high voltage, electrophoretic mobility, which provides faster and higher resolutions results than standard High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

SCIEX offers a number of HPLC-MS solutions, also known as front-end HPLC instrumentation, that combines the separation capabilities of liquid chromatography with the power of mass spectrometry.


There are many applications of mass spectrometry using SCIEX instruments. MS can be used for many pharmaceutical analyses, including tissue imaging, DMPK, and microdosing. Mass spectrometry is also the ideal technology for biologics characterization; our X500B was built specifically to make standard characterization workflows in this research area easier and faster. Other mass spectrometry applications using SCIEX instrumentation include forensics drug testing, food testing to determine the presence of contaminants, environmental analysis for contaminants, and clinical research and diagnostics.


There are many advantages to using mass spectrometry over traditional methods of particle analysis. MS data are more specific and sensitive than most other analytic techniques. Our SCIEX tandem mass spectrometers can also generate a structural analysis of target compounds. Mass spectrometry is advantageous when compared to other techniques because it has a higher mass accuracy and precision, a higher robustness, and high sensitivity. MS allows multi-analyte panels, is compatible with generic sample prep, is versatile in allowing the addition of new compounds, requires less preparation of samples, and has a lower cost-per-sample than other methods.

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These educational courses are exactly what our lab needed to help teach new technologists the basics. It's much easier to teach with visuals, THANK YOU!
Steph Longdo, Toxicology Supervisor, Precision Diagnostics

Introductory Courses

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