How can mass spectroscopy be used by chemists?

1 Answer
Nov 5, 2016

Mass spectroscopy is a direct method of spectroscopic analysis.....


......that can quantitatively identify a given molecule.

In organic synthesis typically a target compound is synthesized which will have a definite molecular mass. Mass spectrometry can identify this molecule by the observation of a molecular ion, and by the fragmentation pattern the compound undergoes.

Various techniques of ionization may be employed to observe the molecular ion, but these days analysis is so good, the process is fairly routine.

With mixtures, the mix can be run down a chromatographic column to separate the individual components, and the component, as it comes off the column can be shunted to a mass spectrometer. This combined technique of tandem chromatography and mass spectrometry is referred to as #"GCMS"#, #"gas chromatography mass spectrocopy"#, and can be very useful in the analysis of mixtures.

I suggest you check out the appropriate chapter in your text for specific examples of the technique.