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Mass Spectrometer A mass spectrometer produces charged particles ions from the chemical substances that are to be analyzed The mass spectrometer then uses electric and magnetic fields to measure the mass weight of the charged particles There are many different kinds of mass spectrometers but all use magnetic andor electric fields to exert forces on the charged particles produced from the chemicals to be analyzed A basic mass spectrometer consists of three parts 1A source in which ions are produced from the chemical substances to be analyzed 2An analyzer in which ions are separated according to mass 3 A detector which produces a signal from the separated ions Mass spectrometers are used for all kinds of chemical analyses ranging from environmental analysis to the analysis of petroleum products trace metals and biological materials The information that a mass spectrometer gives out is as follows Exact mass Elemental composition Fragmentation pattern Structure fingerprint Isotope abundances Presence number of certain elements Use water H2O as an example A water molecule consists of 2 hydrogen H and 1 oxygen O The total mass of a water molecule is the sum of the mass of 2 hydrogens and one oxygen Say that some water vapor was put into the mass spectrometer A very small amount of water is all that is needed The water is pulled into a vacuum chamber the ion source of the mass spectrometer If a beam of electrons is shot through the water vapor some of the electrons will hit water molecules and knock off an electron If we lose an negatively charged electron from the neutral water molecule the water will be left with a net positive charge In other words we have produced charged particles or ions from the water H2O 1 fast electron -- H2O 2 electrons Some of the contacts between the water molecules and
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