Choosing the right IMS instrument

Author: Therese McKenna

So, you have decided that ion mobility spectrometry – mass spectrometry (IMS-MS) is a technique that you need to consider for your analytical repertoire. There is now more choice than ever before when it comes to deciding which is the best technology, and it can often be difficult to know which instrument is most suitable for your needs. Having worked with a variety of customers, we have learned about the differing pressures and requirements of each lab. We have applied these findings to develop a portfolio of ion mobility mass spectrometers to help meet the needs of all our customers. 

In order to expand your ability to identify and quantify the constituents of complex mixtures while increasing the confidence you have in your data, the choice of equipment must be balanced with other factors. These include:

  • Ease of use
  • The experience level of staff in your laboratory
  • The ability to process data to obtain the information you require
  • The range of experimental options available
  • Service and support options 
  • Cost effectiveness

These requirements need to be prioritised early in the decision-making process, together with a plan for the best way to evaluate the instrument. This will help ensure that your final choice of equipment meets all of your laboratory’s requirements.

Waters has a dedicated team of specialists that can help you find the perfect instrument for your needs. They can work with you to refine your IMS-MS evaluation plan and provide data to enable you to make the right choice – ensuring that your IMS-MS instrument meets your requirements. By choosing the right IMS-MS technology for your lab, you can maximise lab efficiency and make the best use of your time, while benefiting from reproducible and reliable data. 

For scientists who need efficient workflows

An important consideration when choosing an IMS-MS instrument is the workflow of individual labs. We often speak to scientists who note that efficiency is key and that they need to prioritize usability. Data processing can be particularly time consuming and it is important that time-restricted users working on routine applications avoid unnecessary steps. Therefore, if you are a researcher who needs to get answers seamlessly, you should consider IMS instrumentation with streamlined controls, built-in checks and software that provides automatic data processing and reporting.

When cost effectiveness is key

There is often a pressing need for economical solutions in modern labs. One strategy that can increase cost effectiveness is through utilizing a single piece of equipment for a diverse range of research applications. The latest high-resolution mass spectrometers can provide a wide range of experimental options to respond to evolving lab needs. Choosing a “Swiss army knife” of IMS-MS instrumentation delivers greater flexibility without the need for multiple instruments – improving the cost efficiency of your lab. 

For mass spec experts who want full control

It is vital that leading researchers who want to remain at the forefront of their field can tailor experiments for the investigation of challenging research problems. Though cutting-edge science requires optimal resolution and sensitivity, it also demands novel ways to advance new avenues of discovery. Pioneering IMS technology that provides the ability to perform advanced mobility experiments will particularly suit mass spectrometry experts who need to delve further into their samples by pushing the boundaries of ion mobility separation.

Waters has a choice of IMS equipment to help you get the best results for your lab. Find out more about our range of IMS technologies here.