"Isotopes"
"an IonSource.Com tutorial"

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Introduction

 

As mass spectrometrists we need to understand that isotopes are part of the data that we collect every day in our labs.  Even if we are saving our data in centroid mode or running at low resolution isotopes have a big impact on our mass spectrometry data.  In electrospray, quadrupole mass spectrometry and in every other type of mass spectrometry isotopic displays contain a wealth of information.  Isotopes can reveal the charge state of a  peak, what types of elements may be contained in a particular molecule and can even reveal the elemental composition of a molecule through accurate mass determination.  We will also try to answer the question, "When should I use monoisotopic or average mass?"  We will discuss how changing resolution affects sensitivity and mass accuracy.  We will also cover isotopic implications for mass spectrometer calibration and discuss why centroiding programs cannot just be peak top pickers.  Even though the subject is broad we have attempted to keep it very simple and have included only those topics of isotopes that impact our lab on a daily basis.  There are entire areas of study such as stable isotopes and isotopic labeling that we have chosen not to address at this time, although they are very interesting and we may get back to them at some point.  

 

"A mass spectrometer can never be too accurate, too sensitive, or possess too much resolving power."

 

(Spectra in this tutorial were generated using the IsoPro program, v.3.01)

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We hope this short tutorial will be useful to you.  If you would like to make a suggestion or submit a correction you may mail me at webmaster@ionsource.com.  All input is appreciated.  Click the start button at the bottom of this page to advance to the next slide.

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Last updated:  Tuesday, January 19, 2016 02:49:01 PM