Troubleshooting LC-MS

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Webinar Date/Time: Thursday, March 16th, 2023 at 8am PST | 11am EST | 4pm GMT | 5pm CET

This webcast will present a logical approach to identifying whether a problem has been caused by the sample/method or the instrumentation itself, followed by identifying which instrument component may be at the root of the issue. We will share tips and trick to help you identify the most common problems and how to properly set up your method and instrument.

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Event Overview:

LC-MS is a complex technique which makes troubleshooting that little bit more challenging. We will take you through a step-by-step approach which can be used to determine if the problem is related to the method/sample or if it is an instrument fault—and then how to further narrow the source of the issue to particular LC or MS components. Common problems such as contamination, misidentification of the molecular ion, poor signal reproducibility, and ion suppression will also be discussed.

Topics Covered:

  • Tools to diagnose the source of a problem
  • How to tune and what the tune report tells us
  • Troubleshooting common LC-MS issues
    • Contamination
    • Ion suppression or enhancement
    • Misidentification of the molecular ion
    • Poor signal reproducibility
  • Method/system parameters which should be considered
    • Buffer, flow rate, sample concentration
    • Use of divert valves, using scan function to visualize co-elution problems, source temperature


Kevin A. Schug
Professor and the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
The University of Texas at Arlington

Kevin A. Schug is Professor and the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He is also Director of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR) at UTA. Since joining UTA in 2005, his research has been focused on the theory and application of separation science and mass spectrometry for solving a variety of analytical and physical chemistry problems, in the fields of environmental, pharmaceutical, biological, and energy research. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications and over 600 presentations, posters, and invited talks to his group’s credit. Dr. Schug has received several research awards, including the 2009 Emerging Leader Award in Chromatography by LCGC Magazine and the 2013 American Chemical Society Division of Analytical Chemistry Young Investigator in Separation Science Award. He was also named to the 2019 and the 2021 The Analytical Scientist’s Top 100 Power List of the most influential analytical chemists in the world.

Dr. Dawn Watson
CHROMacademy Product Manager

Dr. Watson completed her Ph.D. in synthetic inorganic chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, followed by postdoctoral research on small molecule reaction kinetics at Princeton University. Following several years working for a major instrument manufacturer, she became a technical expert for CHROMacademy in 2013. She has expertise in various analytical techniques, including HPLC, GC, GC–MS, LC–MS, NMR, and molecular spectroscopy, as well as numerous wet chemistry and sample preparation techniques.

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