Can Your Q-TOF...?
When was the last time…
  • Your capital budget got bigger?
  • Lab instrumentation got less expensive?
  • Your workload got lighter?
  • Your deadlines got longer?
  • Your analytical requirements got less stringent?

To keep pace with the increasing demands of a modern laboratory, you need innovative solutions that give you more for your money. Can your Q-TOF? If not, consider the alternatives.

The Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ MS and Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ Focus MS offer:

  • Resolution up to 70,000 (Q Exactive Focus MS) and 140,000 (Q Exactive MS) to see more peaks in your samples
  • Remarkable scan-to-scan mass accuracy for confident identification
  • High scan speeds compatible with UHPLC
  • Mass stability to maintain calibration all day…even weeks, depending on the sample
  • Selectivity required to do quantitative and qualitative analysis on one platform

If you’re performing routine, small-molecule analyses for environmental, food safety, clinical research, forensic toxicology, or metabolomics, it may be time to can your Q-TOF and switch to Orbitrap MS technology.

Now even more affordable

Ready to experience what the Q Exactive MS can do? Get an applied discount when you purchase a new Q Exactive MS or Q Exactive Focus MS. Take advantage of this special offer and start enjoying all the benefits of Orbitrap HRAM MS in your laboratory.

The Q Exactive value equation

If Value = Performance/Price

And Price(Q Exactive) = Price(Q-TOF)

And Performance(Q Exactive) > Performance(Q-TOF)

Then Value(Q Exactive) > Value(Q-TOF)

You don’t always get what you pay for…sometimes you get more!


"The Q Exactive Focus mass spectrometer will rapidly become your gold standard because this single technology will answer your routine, quantitative and research analytical demands at an affordable price."

Dr. Bertrand Rochat
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois
Lausanne, Switzerland

Whitepaper: From Triple Quadrupoles and Q-TOF to Orbitrap HRMS

  Your Q-TOF Orbitrap
Robustness, mass accuracy stability over time Can it? Yes
Avoids detector saturation Can it? Yes
Accurate quantitation, excellent calibration Can it? Yes
Orbitrap HRAM to identify all compounds in a complex matrix Can it? Yes
Experimental flexibility Can it? Yes

See what the Q Exactive MS can do

Top 10 reasons to consider a Q Exactive Focus over a Q-TOF
Feature Benefit
Excellent linear dynamic range with Automatic Gain Control (AGC) at high and low concentrations
  • Precise quantitation over a wide dynamic range
Variable resolving power
  • Selectivity to separate target compounds from interference
No trade-off between resolution and sensitivity
  • No compromise...both resolution and sensitivity are retained
  • Analysis of trace compounds with maximum resolution and mass accuracy
Minimum scan-to-scan variance
  • Excellent signal-to-noise ratio
  • No need for averaging
  • UHPLC compatible
Mass stability and mass accuracy
  • Mass calibration maintained for 24 hours to weeks
  • Remarkable scan-to-scan mass accuracy and precision
Fast polarity switching
  • Quick positive/negative switching, which adds efficiency
  • Maintains accurate mass/charge determination
  • No stabilization time required
Easy to use, a plug-and-play device
  • Fast and simple to change from one experiment to another
  • Intuitive for users with a range of experience and skills
Small footprint, truly a benchtop mass spectrometer
  • Efficient utilization of available, valuable bench space
Orbitrap is the detector
  • Robust, consistent daily use
  • No need to exchange detector components like micro-channel plate detectors, resulting in exceptional uptime and productivity
Single mechanical pump
  • Laboratory friendly and reduced noise versus two mechanical pumps typically required with many systems
Reduce false positives and false negatives with Orbitrap’s high resolution power
Reduce false positives and false negatives with Orbitrap’s high resolution power
  • Carbofuran is not identified at 17.5K resolution whereas formetanate is identified with poor mass accuracy
  • Carbofuran and formetanate are both identified at high mass accuracy due to the Q Exactive Focus MS true high resolution of 70K at low m/z
  • Data generated using a Q Exactive Focus MS
Obtain fine isotopic pattern and assign elemental composition with confidence and accuracy
Obtain fine isotopic pattern and assign elemental composition with confidence and accuracy
  • Resolution of isotopes in endogenous metabolites
  • With the mass accuracy and resolution at 70K of the Q Exactive Focus MS, it is possible to separate isotopes 34S from 13C2. At a lower resolution of 35K, these isotopes would not be resolved.

Don't struggle to meet LOQs, lower them
Don't just meet MRL values...exceed them
  • No need to recalibrate every injection—just calibrate every 24 hours or as needed!
  • Great quantitation performance with up to 6 orders of dynamic range (depending on sample)
  • Sub-ng/mL quantitation of thiabendazole

PRM with the Q Exactive mass spectrometer

Full scan MS/MS quantitation in the Q Exactive.

Above we see (1) precursor ions isolated in the quadrupole which then (2) pass to the Higher-energy Collision Dissociation (HCD) cell for fragmentation followed by (3) HRAM measurement in the Orbitrap. This provides (4) MS/MS identification of the compound and (5) quantitation based on creating accurate mass extracted ion chromatograms from the target compounds.

Other modes of quantitation

1. PRM (Parallel Reaction Monitoring)

  • Scheduled target list (Rt, m/z, collision energy)
  • Post-acquisition—extracted ion chromatograms of parent (fragment transitions acquired)
  • Robust sensitivity and selectivity even in highly complex matrices

2. Full Scan MS/ddMS2 (data dependent MS2)

  • Post-acquisition—extracted ion chromatograms of parent ions of interest
  • Relies on high resolution for selectivity
  • Useful for less complex background
  • No method development/preparation needed

3. t-SIM (targeted SIM)/ddMS2

  • Post-acquisition—extracted ion chromatograms of parent ions of interest
  • Scheduled target list (Rt, m/z)
  • Powerful in medium complexity matrix
  • Simple method development (e.g., pre-define parent ions, window width)
Calibrate once, use it for 24 hours or as needed
Calibrate once, user for days...even weeks
  • Data show a one-time calibration on a Q Exactive MS with sub-ppm mass accuracy for 900 injections over more than 100 hours

Achieve scan-to-scan mass accuracy
Achieve peak-to-peak mass accuracy
  • Sub-ppm mass accuracy per scan for the detection of Carbaryl
  • Scan speed fast enough to acquire 18 scans across a 5 second peak at resolution 70,000
  • RMS = 0.62 ppm or 620 ppb across the peak
Related resources


   Q Exactive Focus for food safety



Additional links

Don't miss this special offer.