Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mass Spectrometer on Curiosity Part 3: Conversation with a small molecule expert

Yesterday, I had the chance to run my thoughts on the MS system on Curiosity by a small molecule triple quad expert.  His thoughts really changed my perspective on this.  Apparently +/- 1 Da isn't all that bad for a quadrupole instrument.  Yes, there are better ones out there (such as ones produced by my employer  that can do +/- 0.2 Da without big sensitivity losses), but most +/- 1 Da is pretty much the industry standard.  While most quads can narrow down to smaller mass windows, the sensitivity losses are so severe that we it is completely impractical.
So, while the MS device on Curiosity isn't cutting edge, it isn't as primitive as I originally thought.  Makes you wonder, though, why they just didn't buy one from Thermo...

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