Mass spectrometry is concerned with the separation of matter according to atomic and molecular mass. It is most often used in the analysis of organic compounds of molecular mass up to as high as 200,000 Daltons, and until recent years was largely restricted to relatively volatile compounds. Continuous development and improvement of instrumentation and techniques have made mass spectrometry the most versatile, sensitive and widely used analytical method available today.
Today techniques such as the following are commonly used:
The mass spectrometer can be broken down into four basic components, the functions of which are as follows: