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Thermo Fisher Scientific Debuts High-Performance Benchtop Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer at ASMS 2011

Thermo Q ExactiveThermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, has introduced the Thermo Scientific Q Exactive high-performance benchtop quadrupole-Orbitrap LC-MS/MS. It is the first commercially available instrument to bring together quadrupole precursor selection and high-resolution accurate mass (HR/AM) OrbitrapTM mass analysis to deliver high confidence quantitative and qualitative (quan/qual) workflows. 

With innovative HR/AM QuanfirmationTM capability, the Q ExactiveTM mass spectrometer makes it possible to identify, quantify and confirm more trace-level metabolites, contaminants, peptides and proteins in complex mixtures-in one analytical run. Unlike other technologies, high confidence results are obtained without sacrificing MS/MS sensitivity, mass resolution or quantitative reproducibility.

"The Q Exactive system offers a novel benchtop LC-MS/MS capability we call Quanfirmation, a capability encompassing compound identification, quantitation and confirmation." said Ian Jardine, vice president of global R&D, Thermo Fisher Scientific. "For laboratories performing protein identification, metabolism, forensic toxicology and food safety analyses, Quanfirmation makes it possible to perform time-saving, single-run quan/qual workflows routinely."  

Powered by Orbitrap technology, the Q Exactive system delivers ultra high resolution and exceptional mass accuracy, enabling high confidence identifications and retrospective data analysis. Fast scanning and spectral multiplexing ensure the system is fully compatible with UHPLC separations. Fast positive-negative scan-to-scan polarity switching enables detection of a wide range of compound types in a single analysis.

The Q Exactive high performance benchtop quadrupole-Orbitrap LC-MS/MS extends the capabilities of the Thermo Scientific Exactive family of Orbitrap systems with significant new design innovations:

  • New ion source optics increase sensitivity up to five-fold.
  • Integrated quadrupole mass filter enables precursor ion selection. True MS/MS fragmentation occurs in the higher energy collisional induced dissociation (HCD) cell prior to Orbitrap HR/AM detection.
  • Advanced signal processing increases system resolving power to 140,000 FWHM in full-scan mode and maximum scan speed 
  • New C-Trap ion optics and HCD collision cell offer fast HCD MS/MS scanning and improve low-mass ion transmission, thereby enhancing sensitivity and quantitative performance, particularly for experiments that use isobaric labeling.
  • Multiplexed detection increases overall system duty cycle for compatibility with UHPLC. Up to ten precursor ions can be collected and stored prior to simultaneous detection in the Orbitrap.

Together these features make the Q Exactive system the ideal choice for unambiguous Quanfirmation -- the identification, quantitation, and confirmation -- of hundreds of trace-level components in complex matrices, in a single analytical run. And, the system supports time-saving workflows for emerging applications, such as food safety and forensic toxicology, that employ general extraction methodologies resulting in very complex sample matrices for subsequent analysis by LC-MS. With the Q Exactive system, laboratories can identify more proteins, more metabolites and more contaminants with greater confidence.

For more information about the Q Exactive system as well as other new Thermo Scientific products, please e-mail, or visit

Thermo Fisher's innovative Technology Refresh program allows companies to invest with confidence in the latest instruments for the lab at the lowest total cost. Technological advances in Mass Spectrometry occur on average every 18 months. Technology Refresh helps safeguard against analytical instrument obsolescence by offering financing for a new mass spectrometer with a 36-month operating lease, fixed monthly payments, and the option to upgrade to the latest available technology at the 24th month of the term. The program applies to new acquisitions, but can be modified for trade-ins and replacements for current aging equipment. For more information, contact the Thermo Fisher Financial Services team at (800) 986-9731.

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