- Vapourised - sample is turned ito a gaseous state as its easier to move through the chamber
- Bombarded with electron - given a sufficient enough energy supply so that one or more electrons are knocked out of the outer most shell
- most ions will only carry a +1 charge as its difficult to remove anelectron from an already positive ion
The gaseous sample is passed through an electric field, as it accelorates the positive ions to a high speed as it goes through the chamber.
The amount an ion is deflected depends on the MASS/CHARGE RATIO
- the mass of the ion - lighter ions are deflected more than heavier ions
- the charge of the ion - the larger the charge the more the ion is deflected. an ion with a 2+ charge will be deflected more than an ion with a 1+ charge
The beam of electrons passing through the chamber are detected electrically using a detector.
Only ions with the correct mass/charge ratio are detected - the others are deflected too far and are eventually removed using a vaccum.
- The signal is amplified and recorded
Initially a vacuum must be placed in the chamber to remove any unwanted ions - that werent deflected from a previous sample, or air molecules.This is so that the ions have a free runthrough the machine