Orbitrap Fusion Mass Spectrometer

The Orbitrap Fusion mass spectrometer was purchased in early 2017 through a grant from the NSF Major Research Instrumentation program and cost-share financial support from the NMSU Agricultural Experiment Station and the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences and College of Engineering.

Complex mixtures of all types are well-addressed by this technology - from biological / proteomic analyses to environmental, petroleum and biofuels applications.

The Orbitrap Fusion combines a quadrupole, an Orbitrap and a linear ion trap mass spectrometer ("tribrid") to enable acquisition of both high-resolution (Orbitrap) as well as rapid, low-resolution analyses (quadrupole ion trap) in a parallel-in-time fashion (i.e. multiplexed operation). In particular, the linear ion trap and the quadrupole can be used to isolate and fragment ions of interest by three available and complimentary fragmentation mechanisms and produce numerous tandem mass spectra while the slower, high-resolution / accurate mass measurement is taking place in the Orbitrap. The availability of multiple fragmentation techniques at any stage of MSN, with fragment ion detection in either the ion trap or Orbitrap mass analyzer, offers a high level of versatility.

Orbitrap Fusion Mass Spectrometer
Orbitrap Fusion
Orbitrap Fusion - Schematic
Image of schematic

Guidelines for Becoming an Orbitrap Fusion User

The Orbitrap Fusion was purchased through a grant from the National Science Foundation's Major Research and Instrumentation Program. The sustainability of the resource derives from collaborative and funded research grants.

Becoming a user of the NMSU Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation Lab's Orbitrap Fusion Mass Spectrometer


A) Users are faculty/staff with projects for which Orbitrap Fusion support has been included in a project budget. Initial user projects are specified in the submitted NSF proposal and subsequent user projects have been funded following acquisition of the Orbitrap Fusion.

B) Fee-for-service refers to payment for an analysis that is provided by CAIL staff in support of preproposals, small projects, etc. This does not refer to rental of the Orbitrap Fusion.

The proposal management plan specifies several ways that the Orbitrap Fusion can be used, which are available to all NMSU faculty/staff uniformly and are prioritized in the following order:

(1) Funded projects of the PI and co-PIs that include budget allocations for Orbitrap Fusion support. These projects can include training and instrument operation by project faculty and students.

(2) Funded user projects that include budget allocations for Orbitrap Fusion support. These projects can include training and instrument operation by project faculty and students.

(3) User projects that provide Orbitrap Fusion support through fee-for-service. These analyses are performed by CAIL staff. A cost estimate can be supplied in advance by the lab director, as needed.

(4) Non-funded projects where a potential user and the CAIL director seek pre-data in pursuit of extramural funding. These analyses are performed by CAIL staff. If the pre-data become part of a successful proposal, the resulting project would function as described in either item 1 or 2, above.

For scenarios 3 and 4, above, project students and faculty are welcome to be present during the analysis for learning/instruction purposes. Those samples will be run at the earliest convenient time for CAIL staff.

A faculty member may initiate a user project that incorporates the Orbitrap Fusion by contacting the lab director (email, phone, in person) and providing the following information:

1) Project background and the type of sample(s) and analysis that are sought

2) the long term goals of the proposed effort (funding, establishment of new expertise, etc.)

3) will the project require CAIL staff support beyond instrument configuration?

4) will the project require CAIL resources in addition to the NSF MRI equipment? If so, what resources?

5) detail that supports the synthesis of appropriate budget support for the proposed activity

6) relevant project dates

A project request form (download below) can be used to provide this information. The lab director will use this input to evaluate the project suitability for the resource, course of action/scheduling and project budgeting considerations, and will provide an approved project proposal form in return.