Mass spectrometry Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry is a widely used analytical technique that identifies and quantifies a substance. By ionising the atoms and molecules of a substance and measuring its mass number and number of ions, its mass-to-charge ratio can be calculated. Compared to other analytical techniques, this allows for a great deal of information to be collected from a single analysis. This technique is now commonly used in wide variety fields from Pharmaceutical to Manufacturing.


Hamamatsu is a market leader in the manufacture and development of detection solutions for mass spectrometry. Our photonic technologies are implemented globally across a diverse range of instruments providing users with superior detection capabilities.

What does a mass spectrometer consist of?


Generally, each Mass Spectrometer consists of three sections: Ionization, Ion Separation, and Detection. Mass spectrometers are grouped into various types according to the distinct ionization and separation methods used.


Hamamatsu have developed a wide range of products for both the Ionization and Detection areas of Mass Spectrometry. The distinct technical features and performance required from these devices differ according to the type of the mass spectrometer in use. These include low-fragmentation light sources for photoionization, high specification ion detectors, as well as measurement support tools for users.

Mass spectrometry — where our devices play an active role!

(Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry)

TOF-MS (Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry) separates ions as they travel through an accelerating electric field and measures the difference in their time-of-flight according to the mass-to-charge ratio of each ion. Since slight differences in the time-of-flight must be found with extreme accuracy, the detectors for TOF-MS must have very fast response and low time jitter.


Click here for details

Recommended product

 (Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry)

As the method for ion separation, Q-MS (Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry) utilizes a quadrupole that consists of four parallel electrodes (two pairs of two metal rods). Only the ions that satisfy the resonance conditions are selected (filtered) by a high-frequency voltage supplied to the four electrodes.



Click here for details

Recommended product
  • Detection of bipolar ions
  • Wide dynamic range

(Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry)

ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) uses plasma as an ion source. This is a highly sensitive method that allows qualitative and quantitative analysis of trace elements contained in samples at the ppt (parts per trillion) level.




Click here for details

Recommended product
  • Wide dynamic range

Mass Spectrometry Topics

Detectors ideal for portable mass spectrometers

Expanding the applications of mass spectrometry to the field of security such as in detecting explosive substances at airports

We offer ion detectors capable of operating in low-vacuum environments where accurate detection of ions has been difficult. These ion detectors are designed to achieve features and characteristics optimized for portable mass spectrometers that extend their applications to the field of security such as luggage inspections at airports.


Click here for details

Pretreatment tools for MALDI TOF-MS

Providing support tools to simplify the cumbersome sample treatment process

We also offer support tools for MALDI TOF-MS measurements that don’t require a matrix. These pretreatment tools exhibit especially high performance in imaging mass spectrometry in the small molecule range.





Click here for details

High-voltage power supplies ideal for ion detectors

Regulated high-voltage power supplies providing both positive and negative polarity outputs from just a single unit

We also provide high-performance power supplies for operating mass spectrometer ion detectors. We do this by equipment designs that achieve highly stable operation through technology fostered over many years of manufacturing power supplies for photomultiplier tube operation. We also make every effort to accommodate user customizing requests.


Click here for details

Light sources for soft ionization

Highly stable deuterium lamps

These deuterium lamps emit light with high energy of 10.78 eV and enable “soft ionization” with minimal fragmentation compared to EI (electron ionization).







Click here for details

Our approach to mass spectrometry

A wide lineup of detectors

We provide a wide variety of detection devices such as MCP, EMT and PMT, and so we can propose optimal devices from a broad range of options that best match your equipment.
By combining our deep experience in developing mass spectrometry devices along with diverse cutting-edge technologies relating to semiconductor manufacturing, laser development, and material research, we have developed a new range of detectors offering the most effective and precise analysis for any mass spectrometry technique providing users with the ultimate photonic solution.

Custom devices 

Mass spectrometry devices require characteristics and shapes that differ greatly depending on the type of equipment.

To meet specifications not covered by standard products, Hamamatsu actively works with OEMs and customers to develop and design custom devices ensuring all of our products provide the most efficient and accurate results.





Future prospects

Mass spectrometers are now being used in a broad range of fields such as quality control for food, medicine and water, assessment of hazardous substances, and medical diagnostics. This has led to increased demands for diversity in terms of size, performance, and cost.

To spur the growth of the mass spectrometry market we are continually developing key devices with characteristics optimized for individual applications. We are keen to work with you on any unique solution or application.

Contact us for more information.

  • Literature
  • Price
  • Delivery
  • Support
  • Custom order
  • Other

Contact us