liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)« Back to Glossary Index
Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is a chemical analysis technique used to separate, identify, measure, and analyze substances in a mixture. It combines the physical separation capabilities of liquid chromatography with the mass analysis capabilities of mass spectrometry. (While liquid chromatography separates the individual components of a mixture, mass spectrometry ionizes atoms or molecules to facilitate their separation and detection in accordance with their molecular masses and charges.) This tandem technique is used in a variety of fields, including biotechnology, pharmaceutical research and food processing, especially when the mixture is highly complex.