Concept

Tandem mass spectrometry

Summary
Tandem mass spectrometry, also known as MS/MS or MS2, is a technique in instrumental analysis where two or more mass analyzers are coupled together using an additional reaction step to increase their abilities to analyse chemical samples. A common use of tandem MS is the analysis of biomolecules, such as proteins and peptides. The molecules of a given sample are ionized and the first spectrometer (designated MS1) separates these ions by their mass-to-charge ratio (often given as m/z or m/Q). Ions of a particular m/z-ratio coming from MS1 are selected and then made to split into smaller fragment ions, e.g. by collision-induced dissociation, ion-molecule reaction, or photodissociation. These fragments are then introduced into the second mass spectrometer (MS2), which in turn separates the fragments by their m/z-ratio and detects them. The fragmentation step makes it possible to identify and separate ions that have very similar m/z-ratios in regular mass spectrometers. Structure
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