Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an analytical method that combines the advantages from both, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. In combining these two techniques, identification of different substances within a test sample is accomplished. The field of application for the LC-MS is versatile, for example, clinical analysis, analysis of food, environmental and pharmaceutical residues.

Application requirements

  • Different vacuum pressures in different stages

  • High reliability

  • High pumping speed of backing pump

Functional principle of the HiPace turbopump in 3D

Functional principle of the HiPace turbopump in 3D

How does it work?

A LC-MS system combines the physical separation capabilities of a liquid chromatograph (LC) coupled with the analysis capabilities of mass spectrometer (MS). The mixture is dissolved in a fluid, the mobile phase, which carries it through a structure holding another material, the stationary phase. The constituents of the mixture move at different speeds causing them to separate. This mixture is then introduced into the mass spectrometer which is then used to identify the individual components (masses) of the mixture. Electrospray ionization (ESI) or chemical ionization at atmospheric pressure, are often used as ionization techniques because they can be directly coupled with the LC. The most common type of mass filter is a quadrupole type typically one set or three which would include a "collision cell" which is used to break up ions already filtered for more advanced analysis. One or more quadrupole filters can also be used in conjunction with ion traps or TOF filters for other advanced applications.

Product portfolio

Mass spectrometry requires different pressures throughout the system. In most cases a single customized "SplitFlow" turbopump instead of n+ 1 discrete pump can be designed to meet the specific requirements of each system. Pfeiffer Vacuum turbopumps are offering unmatched flexibility in pump design. In addition, our supreme calculation and design capability will lead to the perfect solution for your system. In addition to turbopumps, backing pumps are also required for system operation. LC-MS systems have very high flow so the main requirement of the backing pump is to handle that gas load while also getting to a pressure low enough to operate the turbomolecular pump. Pfeiffer Vacuum also offers a wide range of gauges to measure the pressures in your system and fore line connection. Several interfaces are available to ensure a proper connectivity between the different Pfeiffer Vacuum products using only one controller for all devices.

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Mass Spectrometry

Vacuum Solution for Mass spectrometry