INTRODUCTIONThe technical evolution of mass spectrometry is a perpetual success story in which a pronounced cross‐pollination between supply (instrumentation) and demand (application) can be observed. The analytical demands fueled the technical inventions, while at the same time ever‐increasing technological achievements pushed the expectations of the users. This evolution was catalyzed by the broad and profound knowledge of the pioneers in this field. A prime example for this is the invention of tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). While the large abundance of fragments in electron ionization mass spectra was merely accepted by most users, some felt challenged to conduct more thorough studies which finally resulted in a broad knowledge of characteristic fragmentation mechanisms. Applying the underlying rules, an experienced user can readily derive both, the molecular mass and the chemical structure, from a MS spectrum with a distinctive fragment pattern.The concept of a characteristic dissociation led to another instrumental breakthrough, tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Here the structure elucidating fragmentation was not an undesired side reaction anymore but the desired goal. While in the beginning MS/MS was intended to fully establish the relation between the dissociation mechanism and the geometry of the precursor ion, it soon became a standard tool for structural
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry – Wiley
Published: Jan 15, 2018
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