Campus Box 3290 Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3290, USA

CRITCL Mass Spec – Instruments

Mass Spectrometry Instrumentation


ThermoScientific Q Exactive HF-X

Waters Acquity H-class
Mass Range: 50 to 4,000 Da
Resolution: 100, 000 at m/z 400 at 1Hz, >750,000 at m/z 400 at slower scan repetition rates
Mass Accuracy Capabilities: < 1.2 ppm RMS error with external calibration, < 1 ppm RMS error with internal calibration
Sensitivity: Attomole range for peptides
MS, MS/MS and MSn analysis
ECD capabilities
Best suited for: Molecular formula confirmation, accurate mass, structure elucidation

ThermoScientific Exactive GC

Equipped with Autosampler
Mass Range: 30 to 700 Da
Resolution: up to 50,000 at m/z 272
Mass Accuracy Capabilities: < 3.0 ppm RMS error with external calibration, < 1 ppm RMS error with internal calibration
EI and CI capabilities
Best suited for: Volatile compound speciation/separation, molecular formula confirmation, accurate mass, structure elucidation


PESciex 3000 – Triple Quad

Equipped with Shimadzu LCMS System & CTC Autosampler
Mass Range: 30-3000 Da
MS and MS/MS analysis
Best suited for: Quantitation and sample screening

FinniganLTQ – Ion Trap

Equipped with Agilent 1100 LC system
Mass Range: 30-2000 Da
MS and MSn analysis
Best suited for: Sample Screening


Thermo Element XR – Optional laser ablation source

Double focusing magnet sector
Mass stability: 25 ppm / 8 hours
Magnetic scan speed: m/z 7 to 240 to 7 > 150 ms
Three adjustable resolution settings, 600, 8000, & 20,000 – FWHM
Sensitivity: Low Resolution, R = 300, 115In > 1×106 cps/ppb; Medium Resolution, R = 4000, 115In > 1×105 cps/ppb; High Resolution, R = 10000, 115In > 1.5×104 cps/ppb
Dynamic Range: > 1012 with automatic gain calibration
Best suited for: Trace metal determination/quantification for solids


Photon Machines Analyte Excite Laser Ablation Source

Ultra-short 193 nm wavelength
Ultra-short > 4 ns pulse length
Synchronized fire-on-the-fly lasing for best depth profiling and control
Independent video and lasing optical elements for optimal viewing and crater quality
Aperture imaged spots ranging from <5 μm to >150 μm
100 mm2 XY stage travel
Fast washout, 1 and 2 volume sample cells available
Sealed gas cabinet
Best suited for: Ablation of solids


HEL Cat18 18-well High Pressure Autoclave

Ultra-short 193 nm wavelength

Parr MRS 6-vessel multi-reactor

Ultra-short 193 nm wavelength
Ultra-short > 4 ns pulse length

Custom Built High Pressure Manifold

Allows for efficient and safe vessel pressurization under varying temperature, pressure, and/or gas compositions
Nitrogen (N2), Helium (He), and/or Carbon Monoxide (CO) are avaiable

ThermoFisher SpeedVac

Utilized for rapid drying of multiple samples at once
Capable of drying Eppendorf, vials (2 mL) and/or multi-well plates (96-well)

MBraun Glovebox

Dual glovebox system allows for independent handling of solid and liquid chemicals
Direct in-line feed to the high-resolution mass spectrometry system for handling air-sensitive materials

Metrohm Ion Chromatography System

Quantification and detection of anions in solution
Core Stocked with certified reference material grade ion chromatography standard (100 ppm)
Able to quantify F, Cl, Br, NO3, PO43, SO42
Quantification and detection of cations in solution
Core Stocked with TraceCERT grade ion chromatography standard (100 ppm)
Able to quantify Ba, Ca, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Na, NH4, Sr

J-KEM Multi-Shaker

Located in our glovebox
Allows for inert heating and shaking in a multi-vial sample holder

CEM Mars Microwave System

Microwave Reactor System
Acid Digestion System
Up to 14 samples in a single digestion event
High temperature – Up to 300°C
High pressures – up to 1500 psi
In Situ temperature control


UNC Proteomics Core

The Proteomics Core Facility provides project consultation and mass spectrometry support to UNC researchers as well as other academic and industrial researchers worldwide. Services include: protein identification, intact mass analysis, post-translational modification analysis, identification of protein-protein interactions, and untargeted proteomic profiling. Also provided are relative protein/peptide quantitation using labeled, iTRAQ, TMT, and label-free methods. State-of-the art instrumentation includes: an AB Sciex 5800 MALDI-TOF/TOF, a Thermo LTQ-Orbitrap Velos equipped with a Waters nanoAcquity UPLC, and a Thermo QExactive HF equipped with a Thermo Easy nLC 1000. The Proteomics Core Facility staff members are committed to educating researchers in the field of proteomics and will work with you from initial experimental design through publication.

UNC Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Sub-Core

The Biomarker Mass Spectrometry Sub-Core laboratory provides analytical support to CEHS members and other UNC-CH researchers for qualitative and quantitative assessment of biomarkers using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instrumentation. The facility staff also collaborates with Center members to develop new assays for targeted biomarker analysis. Epidemiology and toxicology research relies in part on mass spectrometry because it is a very sensitive and specific analytical technique which generates data that enhances our understanding of molecular mechanisms of environmentally related disease processes and because it provides ultra-sensitive detection of biomarkers of environmental and endogenous exposure.