A major innovation in mass spectrometry happened 40 years ago.
Mass spectrometry is a popular technique for analyzing an unknown sample. Mass spec works by measuring the mass (weight) of the different molecules within the sample. (You can read a more detailed explanation here.)
Back in the 1970s, two chemists – professor Christie Enke and graduate student Richard Yost – were looking for an alternative to traditional chromatography to separate and analyze compounds. Their idea was to use a quadrupole (a set of four electrified metal rods) to filter ions (charged particles) of the molecules in question. By lining up three quadrupoles in a row, they could produce, fragment and boost the ions using very little energy.
Enke and Yost published their model in March 1978. And the rest, as they say, is history.
“The triple quadrupole helped turn mass spectrometry into an analytical chemistry method,” writes Chemical & Engineering News. “Before then, mass spectrometry had been primarily used by physical and organic chemists, not for quantifying molecules in samples but for identifying them. Over the ensuing 40 years, the triple quad became a workhorse of quantitative mass spectrometry.”
The article quotes Agilent scientists Terry Sheehan and Shane Tichy in its history of the triple quad. And the Agilent Ultivo Triple Quadrupole LC/MS is highlighted as a recent innovation in triple quad technology.
For more information go to:
- How Does Mass Spectroscopy Work? (Bitesize Bio)
- Selected ion fragmentation with a tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer
- As the triple quadrupole turns 40, mass spec gurus look back on what it’s meant to chemistry (Chemical & Engineering News)
- Terry Sheehan (LinkedIn)
- Shane Tichy (LinkedIn)
- Agilent Ultivo Triple Quadrupole LC/MS
- Agilent Scientists are on the “Power List”
- Introducing Ultivo: “Small is Big Again”
- Agilent Mass Spectrometry
- Agilent Triple Quadrupole GC/MS Instruments
- Agilent Triple Quadrupole LC/MS Instruments