BMSS 2004 Meeting

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The 27th Annual Meeting of the British Mass Spectrometry Society (BMSS) was held at the University of Derby from 5-8 September, 2004.

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Pure and Applied Chemistry Page


IUPAC Standard Definitions of Terms Relating to Mass Spectrometry

Kermit K. Murray1, Robert K. Boyd2, Marcos N. Eberlin3, G John Langley4, Liang Li5, Yasuhide Naito6 and Jean Claude Tabet7

1Department of Chemistry, Louisiana State University, LA 70803

2National Research Council, Ottowa, Ontario, Canada

3Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas, Brazil

4University of Southampton, School of Chemistry, Southampton, UK

5University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

6Osaka University, Hirakata, Osaka, Japan

7University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

Keywords: IUPAC, Nomenclature, MS terms, terminology.

The most recent edition of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) for terms and definitions related to mass spectrometry is over 10 years old1.

A project to update these terms and definitions in keeping with the ever burgeoning field of mass spectrometry has been commissioned by IUPAC and a working party set up to prepare a new document in conjunction with the mass spectrometry journals, national mass spectrometry societies, and the International Mass Spectrometry Society.

A web discussion group2 for MS terms and definition has been created to ensure that wide participation for discussion is achieved to aid production of this comprehensive list and the first workshop was held at this year’s ASMS meeting in Nashville.

Here we present a draft report of the project and terms in use and request feedback on these and any other terminology that should be included in the final report to be delivered on 2006

1. Chapter 12 of the Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature (“Orange Book”), prepared in 1993, with addenda in 1993 and 1994



Draft Terms List

Accelerating voltage

Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

Accuracy (see Mass Accuracy)

Accurate Mass


Adduct Ion

Adiabatic Ionization

Analogue Ion

Appearance energy

Aromatic Ion

Array Collector

Array Detector (PATRIC)

Association reaction

Associative Ionization

Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization

Atmospheric pressure ionization

Atmospheric pressure photoionization

Atomic Mass Unit (u or Da)


Average Mass

B/E Linked Scan

B2/E Linked Scan

Background Noise

Background Subtracted Mass Spectrum

Background Subtraction

Base Peak


Blackbody infrared radiative dissociation

Cationized Molecule (Sodiated)

[[Channel Electron [particle] Multiplier]]


Charge Deconvolution (multiply to singly charged ions)

Charge Exchange

Charge Exchange (Charge Transfer) Ionization

Charge exchange reaction

Charge inversion reaction

Charge Number (z)

Charge Partitioning

Charge permutation reaction

Charge Remote Fragmentation

Charge Splitting

Charge Stripping

Charge stripping reaction

Charge Transfer

Charge transfer reaction

Charge-induced fragmentation

Chemical ionization

Chemical Noise


Cluster Ion

Collision gas

Collisional Activation

Collisional excitation

Collisionally Activated Disociation

Collision-induced dissociation

Combined Mass Spectrometry

Consecutive Reaction Monitoring

Constant Neutral Mass Gain Scan

Constant Neutral Mass Gain Spectrum

Constant Neutral Mass Loss Scan

Constant Neutral Mass Loss Spectrum

Continuous Dynode Electron Multiplier

Conventional Ion

Conversion Dynode

Crossed Electric and Magnetic Fields

Cyclotron Motion


Daly Detector

Daughter Ion

Daughter Ion Scan

Daughter Ion Spectrum

Delayed (Ion) Extraction

Delayed Extraction

De-protonated Molecule


Desorption Chemical Ionisation

Desorption Chemical Ionisation Probe

Desorption/ionization on silicon

Detection Limit

Detector Gain

Diffusion Pump (Diffstak)

Dimeric Ion

Direct Analysis of Daughter Ions

Direct Inlet

Direct insertion probe

Dissociative Ionization

Distonic Ion

Double-focusing Mass Spectrograph

Dynamic Extraction

Dynamic Fields Mass Spectrometer

Dynamic Range


Dynode, Continuous

Dynode, Conversion

Dynode, Discrete

E2/V Linked Scan

Einzel Lens

Elastic collision

Elastic scattering

Electric Field Strength

Electric Sector

Electron Affinity

Electron Capture

Electron capture dissociation

Electron Energy

Electron ionization

Electron Multiplier

Electron Transfer

Electrospray ionization

Enium Ion Carbenium, Nitrenium, …

Even-Electron Anion

Even-Electron Cation

Even-Electron Ion

Faraday Cup

Fast atom bombardment

FAB gun

Field desorption

Field Free Region

Field ionization

Fine Vacuum

First Stability Region

Focal Plane Collector

Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron (FT-ICR) Mass Spectrometer

Fragment Ion

Fringing Field

Gaseous Ion ("solvent and counterion-free ion")

Heterolysis (Heterolytic cleavage)

High Energy Collisions

High-energy collision-induced dissociation

High Vacuum

Homologue Ion

Homolysis (Homolytic cleavage)

Hybrid Mass Spectrometer

Hydrib Mass Spectrometry

Hydrogen/deuterium exchange

Hyphenated Mass Spectrometry

Hyphenated Technique(s)

i-cleavage (inductive cleavage)

Impact parameter

Inelastic collision

Inelastic scattering

Infra-Red Multi-Photon Dissociation

Interaction distance

Ion Aceleration

Ion Activation

Ion Connectivity (sequence of atoms)

Ion Cooling (See Ion Quenching)

Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) Mass Spectrometer

Ion Detection

Ion Dissociation

Ion energy loss spectra

Ion Fragmentation (see Ion Dissociation)

Ion Gate (Mass Gate)

Ion Kinetic Energy Spectrometry

Ion Quenching

Ion spray

Ion Structure (in MS it often means ion connectivity)

Ion Suppression

Ion Trap

Ion Trapping

Ion/molecule reaction

Ion/neutral complex

Ion/neutral species exchange reaction

Ion/neutral species reaction

Ionic Dissociation


Ionization Cross Section

Ionization Efficiency

Ionization energy

Ionisation Gauge

Ionizing collision

Ion-Molecule Reactions

Ion-Pair Formation


Ion-to-photon detector


Isomeric Ion/Isobaric Ion (really needed?)

Isotope Cluster

Isotope Deconvolution

Isotopic Ion

Isotopic Molecular Ion

Isotopically Enriched Ion

Isotopologue Ion

Isotopomeric Ion

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic Energy Analyzer

Kinetic Energy Release

Kinetic method

Laser desorption/ionization

Laser Induced Dissociation

Laser Ionization

Linked Scan

Liquid matrix

Liquid secondary ion

Low Energy Collisions

Low-energy collision-induced dissociation

Magnetic Deflection

Magnetic Field

Magnetic Flux Density

Magnetic Sector

Magnetron Motion

Mass Accuracy

Mass Analysis

mass analyzed ion kinetic energy spectrometry

Mass Error

Mass Limit

Mass Number (m)

Mass Range

Mass Resolution

Mass Resolving Power

Mass Scan

Mass Selective Axial Ejection

Mass Selective Instability

Mass Spectrograph

Mass Spectrometer

Mass Spectrometer Operating on the Linear Accelerator Principle

Mass Spectrometrist

Mass Spectrometry (The best definition of MS when can propose)

Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry-Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectroscope

Mass Spectroscopy

Mass Spectroscopist

Mass Spectrum

Mass/Charge Ratio

Mass-Analysed Ion Kinetic Energy Spectrometry

Mathieu Equation

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization

Mattauch-Herzog Geometry

McLafferty rearrangement

Metastable Ion

Micro-Channel Plate


Molecular Ion

Molecular Mass

Momentum Analyzer

Momentum transfer collision

Monoisotopic Mass

Most Abundant Mass

MS abbreviation (correct use)

MS in Space

MS in Time

MSMS Spectrum


Multi-Photon Ionization

Multiple collision

Multiple Reaction Monitoring

Multiple-Stage mass Spectrometry MSn

Multiply-Charged Ion



Negative Ion

Negative Ion Chemical Ionization

Neutralisation Re-ionisation MS

Nier-Johnson Geometry

Nitrogen Rule

Nominal Mass

Non-Classical Ion

Nth Generation Product Ion Scan

Nth Generation Product Ion Spectrum

Odd-Electron Ion

Onium Ions Carbonium, Oxonium, Nitronium, …

Orthogonal Extraction

p/n Radian (180°/n) Magnetic Sector

Parent Ion

Parent Ion Scan

Parent Ion Spectrum

Partial charge exchange reaction

Partial charge transfer reaction

Peaks (difference between an ion and a peak, peak intensity versus ion abundance)

Penning Ionization



Photoelectric Effect

Photographic Plate

Photographic Plate Recording



Pirani Gauge

Plasma Desorption (Fission Fragment) Ionization

Point Collector

Positive Ion

Post-Acceleration Detector

Post-Source Decay

Precursor Ion

Precursor Ion Scan

Precursor Ion Spectrum

Pre-Ionization State

Principal Ion

Product Ion

Product Ion Scan

Product Ion Spectrum

Prolate Trochoidal Mass Spectrometer

Proton Affinity

Proton transfer/ Proton Abstraction (types of reactions ?)

Protonated Molecule

Pseudo-molecular Ion

Pulsed Extraction

Quadrupole Field

Quadrupole Ion Storage Trap (Quistor)

Quadrupole Mass Analyser

Quasi-equilibrium theory

Quasi-Molecular Ion (Not recommended)

Radical (not to be confused with groups or substituents)

Radical Anion

Radical Cation

Radical Ion

Rearrangement Ion

Recombination Energy


Reflectron, Curved Field

Reflectron, Gridless

Reflectron, Quadratic Field

Relative Abundance


Resolving Power

Resonance Ion Ejection

Resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization

Rotary pump

Roughing pump

Rough Vacuum


Secondary Electron Emission

Secondary ion

Secondary Ion Emission

Selected Reaction Monitoring


Sequential Mass Spectrometry (see Tandem MS and Multiple-stage MS)

Single-focusing Mass Spectrometer

Singly-, Doubly-, Triply-, etc. Charged Ion (see multiply-Charged Ion)

Soft ionization

Space Charge Effect

Spark Ionization

Stability Diagram

Stable Ion

Static Field

Static Fields Mass Spectrometer

Stevenson's Rule

Superelastic collision

Surface Ionization

Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization

Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization

Sustained off-resonance irradiation

Tandem Mass Spectrometer

Tandem MS

The m/z unit (Th or unitless?)

Thermal Ionization

Time Lag Focusing


Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometer

Total Ion Current


Turbomolecular pump

Unimolecular dissociation

Units in Mass spectrometry (for mass (u or Da), for z +1, +2,… for m/z …)

Unstable Ion

Vertical Ionization

[[X, [X + 1], [X + 2] Elements]]

Yl Cation (tropyl Cation)

Ylium Ion (tropylium ion)