E21-03: Basic Mass Spectrometry

Two-Day Course
Sunday, Nov. 14 & Monday, Nov. 15; 8:30am – 5:00pm

Dr. Athula Attygalle, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

This two-day course introduces mass spectrometry fundamentals to beginners. You will learn strategic procedures followed by mass spectrometrists to carry out qualitative and quantitative sample analysis. Topics include gas-phase ion generation [electron ionization (EI), chemical ionization (CI), plasma methods, electrospray (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI), matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)], ion detection, and mass analysis [magnetic deflection, quadrupole, ion trap (Orbitrap), time of flight (TOF), Fourier-transform (FTMS), ion mobility spectrometry (IMS)]. Basic interpretation of organic mass spectra will be discussed.


Novices who plan to find employment in analytical mass spectrometry, and practicing mass spectrometrists who intend to improve their skills.


  1. Basics
    a. Brief review of spectroscopic techniques
    b. Overview of mass spectrometry
    c. Mass spectrometric terms
  2. Ion Detection
    a. Detection of gaseous ions
  3. Ion Generation
    a. Electron and chemical ionization
    b. Electrospray and laser methods
  4. Mass Analysis
    a. Magnetic sector
    b. Quadrupoles and ion traps
    c. Time-of-flight
    d. FTMS, orbitrap
  5. Data Acquisition, elemental composition, and accurate mass determinations
  6. Ion activation and tandem mass spectrometric procedures
  7. Interpretation of mass spectra
  8. Quantification methods and application of mass spectrometric methods for environmental, biological, pharmacological, forensic, and geochemical samples

Dr. Athula B. Attygalle
is a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. Before joining Stevens, he served as the director of the mass spectrometry facility of Cornell University from 1988 to 2001. Dr. Attygalle is internationally recognized as a researcher and an educator for mass spectrometry and chemical ecology. Under Dr. Attygalle’s leadership, the mass spectrometry laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology has become one of the leading centers for gas phase ion fragmentation studies. He has also published nearly 250 peer-reviewed research articles. Currently he is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. He has extensive experience in conducting workshops and lectures on mass spectrometry.  He has conducted mass spectrometry workshops in Malaysia, Pakistan, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Germany and India.