Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry (DART®-MS), a time-of-flight molecular ion mass spectrometer, can analyze a wide variety of samples—in situ and without sample preparation—by mass spectrometry. DART-MS utilizes a helium plasma stream set to a desired temperature and polarity to vaporize and ionize molecules from a liquid or solid sample. A DART-MS spectrum shows the molecular ions of the sample components, unlike the fragmentation pattern typically seen in electron ionization (EI) modes of most mass spectrometers. DART-MS spectra are used to identify organic compounds in a sample, typically as a screening method for other mass spectrometry techniques.
DART-MS overcomes many issues associated with sample preparation because of its ability to analyze large samples in air and without contamination. DART-MS can analyze a wide variety of liquid and solid samples, including powders, pharmaceutical tablets and surfaces of wipes and other substrates. Common DART-MS applications are unknown material identification, trace contaminants, and residue analysis.
The instrument is composed of two components, the SVP-DART ion source (IonSense, Inc., Saugus, MA, USA) and a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, the JMS-T100LC AccuTOFTM (JEOL, Peabody, MA, USA). Both JEOL and IonSense software are used for instrument operation, and third-party software is utilized along with the NIST Spectral Database for mass spectral analysis.
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