Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry is an analytical technique that has undergone great technological development in recent years. This technique is characterized by high analytical sensitivity and speed of execution, which allow compounds of diverse nature (organic, inorganic or biological) to be studied in trace amounts.

The institute uses an LCT Premier XE time-of-flight mass spectrometer with orthogonal acceleration (oa-TOF) that provides high sensitivity, resolution and accurate mass measurement.


Type of Analysis

There are many fields of application for this technique. The sectors with the most demand for this type of service are the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries. Other fields in which mass spectrometry is necessary are contaminant analysis, toxicology, biology, etc. For oil refineries, it is useful in composition analysis and quality control of petroleum derivatives.

Areas of analytical application that benefit from the possibilities offered by this service include:

  • Identification of metabolites
  • Chemical synthesis
  • Polymers
  • Peptide/protein applications requiring full spectral sensitivity
  • Identification of natural products.

The equipment in the Mass Spectrometry Service at our institute offers the possibility to perform different types of analysis, depending on the ionization mode chosen:

  • Electrospray (ESI) allows the analysis of labile compounds, which (with or without additives) generate charged ions in solution. It is not possible to analyse insoluble compounds. Avoid solvents with high boiling points, such as DMSO, which are problematic in mass spectrometry.
  • Chemical ionization at atmospheric pressure (APCI) permits compounds of lower polarity and adequate thermal stability to be ionized.


A sample of 0.1-0.5 mg is required, along with indications regarding the solvent required for total solubility. The dissolved sample is injected directly and the best response of the analyte is evaluated both in positive and negative mode, in the mass range indicated by the user of this service. The user/client will be provided with the technician's e-mail address and contact telephone number to resolve any doubts that may arise. This service offers the determination of the molecular weight and composition of various sizes of compounds, and from small molecules to large polymers and proteins.

Measurement parameters

  • High and low resolution, which allows the composition to be determined in addition to molecular weight.
  • A quasi-molecular mass is determined, without fragmentation.
  • Analysis of molecules of various sizes, from the smallest molecules to large polymers and proteins.
  • Elucidation of the structure of organic and biological molecules.


The Mass Spectrometry Service of this institute possesses an LCT Premier XE spectrometer that features two ionization sources: electrospray (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and an orthogonal accelerated time-of-flight (oa-TOF) analyser that provides high sensitivity, resolution and accurate mass measurement.

Both ESI and APCI sources are available.

Our laboratory operates under strict standards and we have a quality policy based on compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). Composed of scientists and technicians with years of experience in the laboratory, we have the experience to interpret the results, adding value to the initial analyses.

How can I request a service?

Contact us!

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