The use of ion mobility separation to determine the collision cross-section of a gas-phase ion can provide valuable structural information. The introduction of travelling-wave ion mobility within a quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometer has afforded routine collision cross-section measurements to be performed on a range of ionic species differing in gas-phase size/structure and molecular weight at physiologically relevant concentrations. Herein we discuss the technical advances in the second-generation travelling-wave ion mobility separator, which result in up to a four-fold increase in mobility resolution. This improvement is demonstrated using two reverse peptides (mw 490 Da), small ruthenium-containing anticancer drugs (mw 427 Da), a cisplatin-modified protein (mw 8776 Da) and the noncovalent tetradecameric chaperone complex GroEL (mw 802 kDa). What is also shown are that the collision cross-sections determined using the second-generation mobility separator correlate well with the previous generation and theoretically derived values. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.