Researchers have developed a computation which doubles the resolution, sensitivity and mass accuracy of FTMS.
The work has solved the 40-year-old phasing problem which allows plotting of spectra in absorption mode. Up until now, finding constants in the phase of an Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS) spectrum was difficult.
Prof Peter O’Connor, who co-developed the method, told Laboratorytalk: “The phase wrapping problem is pretty severe on the phase-range we’re dealing with. That said, I’m surprised nobody stumbled on this solution ages ago.”
The team were able to overcome the problem by using what they term as a “least-squares iteration” method to find the phase function.
The breakthrough can be used in all FTMS including FT-ICR, Orbitrap and FT-TOF instruments and will have applications in proteomics, petroleum analysis, metabolomics and pharmaceutical analysis among other fields.
“It means that we can get much better spectra at no additional cost,” said O’Connor. “This will be hugely important in the petroleum industry, where resolution is paramount, but will have similar impact in our research areas of protein analysis too.”
The method is detailed in the study Absorption-Mode: The Next Generation of Fourier Transform Mass Spectra published in the journal Analytical Chemistry and is available here.