Bursey, Maurice M. Department of Chemistry, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Williams, Todd D. Department of Chemistry, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas.
Last reviewed:January 2019
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- Methods of ion production
- Electron impact
- Chemical ionization
- Field ionization and field desorption
- Electrohydrodynamic ionization
- Rapid heating methods
- Particle bombardment techniques
- Laser desorption
- Electrospray ionization
- Multiphoton ionization of gaseous molecules
- Assignment of empirical formula
- Fragmentation patterns
- Metastable ions
- Analysis techniques
- Hybrid techniques
- Ion cyclotron resonance
- Analysis of inorganic solids
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
An analytical technique for identification of chemical structures, determination of mixtures, and quantitative elemental analysis by measuring the mass-to-charge (m/z) ratio of ions produced when a sample is ionized. Determination of organic and inorganic molecular structure is based on the fragmentation pattern of the ion formed when the molecule is ionized; further, because such patterns are distinctive, reproducible, and additive, mixtures of known compounds may be analyzed quantitatively. Quantitative elemental analysis of organic compounds requires exact mass values from a high-resolution mass spectrometer; trace analysis of inorganic solids requires a measure of ion intensity as well. See also: Mass spectroscope
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