Department of Chemistry   University of Oxford


Introduction to mass spectrometry services

The CRL Mass Spectrometry Facility exists to support research groups across all areas of chemistry within the department providing staff and students access to a broad range of mass spectrometry systems and expertise in organic, inorganic and biological mass spectrometry. Threre are four ways staff and students can access the Mass Spectrometry Research Facility:

Open access mass spectrometry: Four walk up MS systems are located on the ground floor (Lab 20.062) and are available for anyone in the department to use after an intial 15 minute training. These provide nominal mass, positive and negative ion electrospray high and low resolution mass spectra. Two systems are dedicated to 'small molecules via loop injection. There is also a general walk up LC-MS system and a second LC-MS dedicated to denatured protein screening. Please contact a member of the MS staff before using any of these systems for the first time.

Mass Spectrometry services: The following mass spectrometry sample submission services are provided: 1) 'Accurate Mass Service' on a 34 hours turnaround basis. 2) 'Alternative ionisation' mass spectrometry sample submission service which is run on a weekly basis. Biological samples (proteins and oligonucleotides) can also be analysed via submission to the facility.

Trained-user instrumentation: The facility has a number of instruments available for projects involving more extended use of mass spectrometer systems. These include GC/MS (ESI-quadrupole), LC/MS (UPLC-ESI-QTOF), MALDI (TOF/TOF). These can be accessed after initial training. Please see a member of MS staff to arrange traininig. See the Trained user section for further information or contact a member of the Mass Spectrometry Facility staff.

Collaborative Research: The research facility also carries out collabroative research using a range of techniques including proteomics (botto-up and top-down), metabolomics (targeted and untargeted), Native state Protein MS (LESA-nanomate) and MS imaging. These require significant input from MS staff and are organised collaboratively at the discression of MS staff.

In addition to providing access to instrumentation, MS Facility staff provide help and support including sample preparation and data analysis. Please ask the MS staff for any help you may require.

Protocol and Safety in the mass spectrometry labs

  1. No lab coats to be worn in any of the MS labs.
  2. Open access autosampler is in continuous operation: Care should be taken not to touch it when submitting samples.
  3. Sources are hot! (usually between 100 and 350oC). Take care when cleaning.
  4. Never remove or tamper with any part of the mass spectrometer system. If a instrument is not working please report to a member of the MS facility staff.
  5. Data – you are responsible for keeping it safe. For all instruments other than open access – make sure you remove it from the instrument computer hard drive within at least 1 week. You may keep it on MassStore

Please read safety information on the mass spectrometry website and all information provided at Mass Spectrometer terminals














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