Mass Spectrometer

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  • Created by: fmPerkins
  • Created on: 21-05-10 08:49

Chemical Ideas 6.5

Mass spectrometry is used to measure the atomic or molecular mass of different particles, as well as their relative abundance. It takes place in a (time of flight) mass spectrometer.

The mass spectrometer is a vacuum chamber, allowing the ions to travel from one end to the other without any hindrance by collisions with air molecules.

There are five key parts to the mass spectrometer: the sample inlet, ionisation area, acceleration area, drift region and the ion detector.

Sample Inlet, where:

  • gases or liquids are injected into the ionisation area
  • solids are heated to vaporise sample

Ionisation Area, where:

  • heated filament produces high-energy electrons
  • high-energy electrons bombard atoms or molecules in the sample (electron impact)
  • sample is ionised, forming CATIONS
  • X (g) + e- --> X+ (g) + 2e-
  • fragments are formed.

Acceleration Area, where:


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