Creating Ions

Creating ion source is the part of the mass spectrometer that ionizes the material under analysis (the analyte). The ions are then transported by magnetic or electric fields to the mass analyzer. Techniques for ionization have been key to determining what types of samples can be analyzed by mass spectrometry. Electron ionization and chemical ionization are used for gases and vapours. In chemical ionization sources, the analyte is ionized by chemical ion-molecule reactions during collisions in the source. Two techniques often used with liquid and solid biological samples include electrospray ionization and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI, initially developed as a similar technique “Soft Laser Desorption” (SLD). Hard ionization and soft ionization, inductively coupled plasma and other ionization techniques are the sources for creating ions.

  • Hard ionization and soft ionization
  • Inductively coupled plasma
  • Other ionization techniques

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