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Mass Spectrometry Services


The Open Access LCMS system is a self-service system utilising a Waters 2795 HPLC with detection via a Waters 2996 Diode Array Detector (DAD) and a Waters ZQ single quadrupole mass spectrometer.

Samples run on this system should have a concentration of around 0.1mg/ml and be dissolved in 50% aqueous acetonitrile. The mass spectrometer only has a mass range of 2kDa so any ions larger than this will not be observed. The data produced shows mass spectra recorded in positive and negative ion mode.

How to login a sample


When you first use the system you should see a desktop looking like this:

The OpenLynx window allows you to log your samples in, choose a method and then informs you where to place your sample in the autosampler of the HPLC.

Click on the button labelled “Login Samples…” A new window will appear where you can select your research group. If your group is not listed please contact a member of the mass spec team for assistance.

Having selected your group select “Next” which will allow you to pick the method you want to use. 

You will find a brief description of the method in the right hand column. As a general rule you will find there are 2 or 3 different versions of each method. The LOW method covers a mass range of 100-1000Da, the MID method covers 500-1500Da and the HIGH method covers 1000-2000Da. The ABZ methods are the most popular. Click “Next” to input some data about yourself and your sample.

You can now enter a description for your sample so that you can later identify your spectra and your name. The mass options are optional and are useful especially if your sample does not absorb in UV.

Click “Next” and the system displays a page telling you where to put your sample which will be either plate 3 or 4.

Put your sample into the correct position in the HPLC and click “Finish” to complete the process. Your results will be printed out within 10 minutes if no other samples are in the queue.