Accurate mass measurements by Fourier transform mass spectrometry

Li Kang Zhang, Don Rempel, Birendra N. Pramanik, Michael L. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


The capability for accurate mass measurements is an important attribute of Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FTMS). Unlike other instrumental methods in mass spectrometry, FTMS still offers significant opportunities to improve mass measurement accuracy (MMA), making it an area of research. This review covers the published literature in FTMS from the late 1970s to the present. We discuss the development and evolution of mass calibration that give accuracies in the low ppm range. We sketch the derivation and show the common foundation of these mass calibration procedures. We also describe the relation of mass calibration and the fundamentals of ion motion and space-charge effects, and we review efforts to improve the basic calibration procedure particularly those that correct for effects of space charge. The advent of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization (ESI) have opened the door for FTMS to be used for analyzing at high performance biopolymers, including proteins, oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs), oligosaccharides, and synthetic polymers. We also discuss the utility of FTMS for accurate mass measurement in these areas and some practical ways to improve MMA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-309
Number of pages24
JournalMass Spectrometry Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Accurate (exact) mass measurement
  • Coulombic effects
  • Electrospray ionization
  • Fourier transform (ion cyclotron resonance) mass spectrometry
  • Mass calibration
  • Space-charge (coulombic) effects


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