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COSMIC Mass Spectrometry


Mass spectrometry services offered initially will be provided on the Bruker 10 T APEX -Qe FTICR-MS with a high performance actively shielded magnet.

The following services will be provided initially:

  • Accurate mass determination for small and larger polar molecule characterization(<5ppm-sub ppm levels)
    • Positive ion ESI analysis.
    • Negative ion ESI analysis
  • Accurate mass determination for non polar compounds
  • High resolution direct analysis of complex mixtures
  • Exact mass MS(n) for structural information of multiply charged ions
  • Peptide and protein molecular weight measurement (salts and buffers must be removed from samples before submission)
  • Training for self-operation of FTICR-MS (please contact the facility director, Isaiah Ruhl, to schedule training).

Accurate mass is the determination of the molecular weight of a specific analyte to within 10ppm (accuracy to the third decimal place) or less. In most cases, 5ppm or less may be achieved.

MS/MS or MS(n) is an ion dissociation or fragmentation method that can provide structural information of an analyte. CID (collision induced dissociation), ECD (electron capture dissociation), and IRMPD (infrared laser fragmentation) are three different techniques available in this facility. These techniques work best with multiply charged ions.


Before submitting any samples for the first time, please contact the facility director, Isaiah Ruhl, in person at PSB II 1104, by phone (757-683-5609) or email cosmic@odu.edu to discuss your particular samples, the proposed analyses and techniques to be used, and your account and contact information. Also, at any time and with any new batches of samples, please contact the facility director if the kind of sample or analytical technique has changed.The more the analyst knows about the sample the better the data results are likely to be.

Samples must be submitted with a fully completed mass spectrometry submission form. Locally, samples and forms may be submitted to Room 1104, Physical Sciences Building II (PSB II) on the Old Dominion University campus, weekdays during the hours of 9AM-5PM for storage in a refrigerator or freezer. Room temperature stable samples may be left in the "FTICR-MS: sample drop off" drawer inside room 1104 PSB II. For long distance submission of samples, submission forms and samples may be mailed or shipped to the following address:

Attn: COSMIC Director, Isaiah Ruhl
Physical Sciences II Bldg., Room 1104
4600 Elkhorn Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23529

All sample vials must be clearly labeled with the sample I.D. code that is written on the submission form. Usually, (Micro)g amounts of sample are sufficient for mass spec analysis. Neat samples (no solvent) are preferred unless the sample is unstable in this form. If a sample is only stable in a solvent, please make the concentration of the solution greater than 10 (Micro)M and use as little solvent as possible. Make sure to note the solution and concentration on the submission form. Please do not send samples in DMSO or DMF. Preferred solvents when necessary are MeOH, H2O, Acetonitrile, and THF. If the sample has been in contact with salts, buffers, or detergents which will suppress ionization, please desalt and clean up the samples before submitting them. Light sensitive samples should be submitted in vials that are wrapped in foil or paper with the sample I. D. label on the outside so that samples don't have to be unwrapped to be identified. All samples will be discarded unless you request that they be returned. If you would like your sample returned, please check "return sample" in the special handling box on the submission form. Because of stringent shipping requirements only local samples will be returned.Please note that a proposed molecular formula and structure are required on the submission form if an exact mass confirmation is requested.

An email will be sent informing you when the data is ready to be picked up or sent, so a legible email address and mailing address are very important.

Small molecule characterization Old Dominion University Rates University & Government Rates Private & Corporate Rates
Accurate mass(<1500 u) may include an internal standard $27/sample $32/sample $82/sample
Large molecule characterization Old Dominion University Rates University & Government Rates Private & Corporate Rates
Accurate mass (>1500 u) may include an internal standard $27/sample $40/sample $82/sample
Molecular weight assignment (>1500 u) used for proteins and peptides $34/sample $40/sample $100/sample
Structural characterization Old Dominion University Rates University & Government Rates Private & Corporate Rates
Accurate mass +MS/MS (<1500 u) $40/sample $50/sample $120/sample
Accurate mass +MS/MS (>1500 u) $40/sample $50/sample $120/sample
Molecular weight assignment + MS/MS (>1000 u) $45/sample $52/sample $130/sample
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Mixture separation and characterization Rate
LC-MS (preliminary method must be provided) $50/sample
LC-MS/MS (preliminary method must be provided) $55/sample
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Other Services Old Dominion University Rates University & Government Rates Private & Corporate Rates
Extended analysis time (after first 15 minutes) for dilute samples in 0.5 hour increments $36/hr. $42/hr. $108/hr.
Staff Time (special sample prep, special data analysis, etc.) in 0.5 hour increments $36/hr. $42/hr. $108/hr.
Training for investigator or student operation of instrument $36/sample for 0.5 hour increments N/A N/A
Investigator or student operation of instrument (training required) $36/sample for 0.5 hour increments N/A N/A