High Sensitivity Collisionally-activated Decomposition Tandem Mass Spectrometry on a Novel Quadrupole/Orthogonal-acceleration Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometer



Consideration of the special problems encountered in ultra-high sensitivity biopolymer sequencing studies has led to the development of a novel quadrupole/orthogonal-acceleration time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometer described for the first time here. The performance characteristics of this new geometry are demonstrated, including fully resolved daughter-ion spectra with mass accuracies of 0.1 dalton, which allow removal of interpretation ambiguities and easy differentiation of charge states even in weak collisionally-activated decomposition tandem mass spectra. The instrument has been applied to a variety of biopolymer research problems, including the structure determination of major histocompatibility complex peptide antigens using liquid chromatography/electrospray mass spectrometry and nanoflow-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry, and sequencing capability in the low-femtomole and attomole ranges is demonstrated.