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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Chemistry : Chemistry

Postgraduate Course: Mass spectrometry (CHEM10065)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Chemistry CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course aims to provide training in the principles and practice of mass spectrometry and related techniques. The course material covers the fundamental principles of mass spectrometry instrumentation. The application of mass spectrometry in the study of a wide range of analytes is discussed from simple organic molecules to large biomolecular complexes. In addition, the course details how mass spectrometry is used as an analytical technique for environmental chemistry and forensic science. The course forms a part of the curriculum for any student enrolled on the PGT MSc degree course in Analytical Chemistry.
Course description The course consists of a blend of lectures, tutorials, workshops and hands-on experimental activities, which deal with the key concepts of mass spectrometry and its application to real-world analytical challenges. The course aims to develop, the students ability to think critically and creatively and solve analytical problems using various techniques of modern mass spectrometry. Students will be assessed on their performance in an exam and on their performance in hands-on activities. The course topics include:

- Principle of a mass spectrometer - Manipulation of gas phase ions in electric and magnetic fields.
- EIectron Ionisation (EI) and Chemical Ionisation (CI). Isotopic pattern.
- The difference between the nominal mass, monoisotopic mass, and average mass. Calculations of mass accuracy, mass precision, and mass resolution.
- Molecular ion region to elucidate elemental composition. Nitrogen rule. Odd. vs. Even electron ions and their spectra.
- Fragmentation pattern of important compound classes in EI. Alpha Cleavage and the McLafferty rearrangement. Composition of structure through analysis of fragmentation pattern.
- Principles of Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation (MALDI)
- Principles of Electrospray Ionisation (ESI)
- Introduction to mass analyzers, Details of the quadrupole mass analyzer.
- The modern Time-of-Flight analyser, FT-ICR mass analyzer, Orbitrap.
- Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS) methods, focusing on Collision Induced Dissociation and related methods
- Mass spectrometry of biomolecules. Introduction to protein and peptide MS/MS, sequencing peptides, modern proteomics.
- From Bottom-up to Top-Down. Top-down fragmentation techniques ECD, ETD, UVPD.
- Ion mobility spectrometry. In contrast to, and in conjunction with mass spectrometry.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 64 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 50% Written Exam
50% Coursework/Practical
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss the basic principles of operation of a mass spectrometer and the principles of manipulating ions in electric and magnetic field. Apply the Lorentz equation for simple examples.
  2. Acquire mass spectra using several common mass spectrometry platforms ¿ LC-ESI-MS, GC-MS, MALDI-TOF MS.
  3. Interpret high resolution mass spectra for chemical formula determination.
  4. Interpret EI mass spectra to gain structural information for small molecule organic molecules.
  5. Interpret simple tandem MS spectra for the elucidation of peptide sequence.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Develop an understanding of the principles and applications of mass spectrometry.
Learn which types of mass spectrometer are most suitable for the analysis of specific analytes.
Acquire practical skills in running mass spectrometry experiments.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Annamaria Lilienkampf
Tel: (0131 6)50 4812
Course secretaryMs Zoe Burger
Tel: (0131 6)50 7546
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