We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Chemistry

Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry (MS) is a technique widely recognized for its high sensitivity and specificity. Accurate mass measurement (< 2 ppm) performed with high mass resolving power (> 50,000 FWHH) enables confirmation of empirical formulae whilst tandem MS supports structural elucidation. Complex mixtures can be simplified by appropriate on-line chromatographic separation (GC or LC).

The Durham Mass Spectrometry Service houses a suite of state-of-the-art instruments with overall functionality designed to handle any MS or tandem MS application. Whilst providing a leading service to the Department of Chemistry we enjoy collaborating with many local and national companies, offering a fast MS analytical service for low resolution screening and accurate mass measurements. Opportunities for joint research projects exist in the form of joint PDRA fellowships, PhD studentships, MSc projects (based in industry or at the University) and summer vacation placements.

Mass spectrometers

GC and direct solids probe MS for volatile and thermally stable molecules

  • Xevo QToF (Waters) tandem mass spectrometer equipped with Atmospheric Pressure Gas Chromatography (APGC) and Atmospheric Solids Analysis Probe (ASAP) ion sources.
  • QP2010-Ultra (Shimadzu) GC EI/CI quadrupole MS

Solution inlet API MS for larger molecules that may be labile or relatively involatile

  • Synapt G2s (Waters) UPLC ES MS/MS (also with ASAP and MALDI ion sources). This high resolution mass spectrometer is capable of both Collision Induced Dissociation (CID) and Electron Transfer Dissociation (ETD) tandem MS and Ion Mobility Separation (IMS)
  • QToF Premier (Waters) high resolution, accurate mass UPLC ES MS/MS
  • LCT Premier XE (Waters) high resolution, accurate mass UPLC ES MS (also with ASAP ion source)
  • TQD (Waters) UPLC ES MS/MS


  • Autoflex II ToF/ToF (Bruker)
  • Synapt G2s (Waters) – as mentioned above - high resolution tandem mass spectrometer with Ion Mobility Separation (IMS)

Services Available

Durham University Mass Spectrometry Service is capable of handling both solid samples and sample solutions. The range of inherently sensitive techniques provides a breadth of analytical information from confirmation of compound identify through to structural characterisation and quantification.

  • GC MS and GC MS/MS capable of low-resolution screening or accurate mass measurement.
  • Atmospheric pressure Solids Analysis Probe (ASAP) capable of low-resolution screening or accurate mass measurement.
  • Flow injection, direct infusion or LC MS and LC MS/MS capable of low-resolution screening or accurate mass measurement. Fragmentation techniques available include Collision-Induced Dissociation (CID) and Electron-Transfer Dissociation (ETD).
  • MALDI ToF and MALDI ToF/ToF analyses.
  • Ion mobility separation.

Contact Details

Service Manager: Dr Jackie Mosely

+44 (0)191 334 2595