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Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals and Instrumentation

Mass Spectrometry

  1. Professor Edmond de Hoffmann

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a6017

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

de Hoffmann, E. 2006. Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals and Instrumentation. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry.

Author Information

  1. Catholic University of Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is a methodology which allows selection of ions of a given mass, fragmentation of these ions and detection of the fragments. It requires the use of dedicated instruments of different types. Some of them allow repetition of the ion selection step to fragment fragments further.

This methodology allows structural information on pure compounds or on components of mixtures to be obtained. It also allows highly selective and sensitive detection of target compounds or of compound classes, even from complex mixtures. It is widely used in environmental analysis, pharmaceutical research, biotechnology, forensic science and toxicology, clinical analysis, organic synthesis, process control and many other areas.