Screen, Confirm and Quantify – Q Exactive Orbitrap MS

High-resolution accurate-mass LC-MS instruments for emerging needs

Thermo Scientific hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometers enable both targeted and non-targeted screening and characterization. They also work with a broad range of sample type applications so that your laboratory can go from compound discovery to quantitation without relying on different instruments and technologies. With the combination of scan speed, high resolution, mass accuracy, spectral quality, and sensitivity you can achieve quantifiable certainty.

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Genotoxic impurity analysis for NDMA in drug products using Orbitrap LC-MS

Affordable screening

Q Exactive Focus Hybrid
Mass Spectrometer

Enough resolving power to meet routine everyday testing.

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Room to expand

Q Exactive Hybrid
Mass Spectrometer

Flexibility designed to easily evolve with your research needs.

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More versatility

Q Exactive Plus Hybrid
Mass Spectrometer

Move from application to application with ease.

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Untargeted metabolomics

Q Exactive HF Hybrid
Mass Spectrometer

Offers best resolution and speed for untargeted research.

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High-resolution native MS

Q Exactive UHMR Hybrid
Mass Spectrometer

Improve disease understanding and therapeutic effectiveness.

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Inside the Q Exactive Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap

  1. RF lens: The radio frequency (RF) lens stacked-ring RF ion guide captures and focuses ions into a tight beam after they exit the ionization source, increasing sensitivity. Large variable spacing between electrodes enables better pumping efficiency and improved ruggedness. Bent flatapole ion guide reduces noise by preventing neutrals and high-velocity clusters from entering the quadrupole.
  2. AABG: Reducing noise and extending maintenance intervals, the Advanced Active Beam Guide (AABG) enables intelligent ion beam management for high flux ion sources.
  3. Quadrupole Mass Filter with AQT: The mass filter improves precursor selection and ion transmission for more accurate quantitation of low abundance analytes in complex matrices. It also offers variable precursor ion isolation width selection from 0.4 Da to full mass range.
  4. Orbitrap mass analyzer: The Orbitrap mass analyzer offers unprecedented high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) analysis of ions as a function of their rotational frequencies; these data are converted to mass spectra using fast Fourier transforms (FFTs).
  5. HCD cell: Ions pass from the nitrogen-filled C-trap into this multipole collision cell and undergo fragmentation. Afterwards, HCD voltage is increased and the ions are transferred back to the C-trap, to be injected into the Orbitrap for detection.


Which Q Exactive Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer is best for my lab?

Our hybrid quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry systems vary in terms of mass resolution, scan speed and analysis modes. Ideal for mass spectral analysis for targeted and high-throughput analysis of low-level components in complex matrices applications in biopharma, forensic toxicology, clinical and translational research, environmental and food testing. To find the system best suited to your laboratory’s specific needs, compare Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometers using data in the chart below.

  Q Exactive Focus Q Exactive Q Exactive Plus Q Exactive HF-X Q Exactive UHMR
  Q Exactive
Q Exactive
Q Exactive
Q Exactive
Q Exactive
Ideal Applications Forensic Toxicology, Clinical Research, Food & Environmental Safety Testing, Targeted Metabolomics Forensic Toxicology, Clinical Research, Food & Environmental Safety Testing, Basic Academic Research, Targeted Metabolomics Forensic Toxicology, Clinical Research, Food & Environmental Safety Testing, Basic Academic Research, Sport Anti-Doping, Biopharma development, Metabolomics, Lipidomics Proteomics, BioPharma, Metabolomics Proteomics, Structural Biology
Analyses MS and MS/MS, Qual/Quan, Screening & Confirmation MS and MS/MS, Screening & Confirmation
Almanac Web-Based Monitoring and Management Require Foundation 3.1 SP1 or later
Standard Features
Resolving Power 70,000 140,000 140,000
(up to 280,000 with BioPharma option)
120,000 at m/z 200
(up to 240,000 with option)
200,000 at m/z 400
Mass Accuracy
(Internal Callibration)
<1 ppm with internal calibration
Mass Range m/z 50 - 3,000 m/z 50 - 6,000
(up to 8000 with option)
m/z 50 - 6,000
(up to 8000 with BioPharma option)
m/z 350 - 80,000
Scan Speed Up to 12 Hz Up to 18 Hz Up to 12 Hz (at resolution setting of 12,500 @ m/z 400
Ion Source IonMax with H-ESI II probe (1 full cycle <1 sec)
Polarity Switching 1 full cycle <1 sec at 35,000 resolution setting IonMax with H-ESI II probe
Multiplexing 3 (SIM only) 10 Up to 20 precursors/scan N/A
Scan Functions SIM SIM & PRM FS, AIF, SIM, PRM, DIA, ddHCD FS, AIF, MS/MS, pseudo-MS3
Dissociation In-source CID, HCD In-source trapping, HCD
Optional Upgrades
Intact Protein Mode N/A Yes
High Mass Rangen(HMRn, up to 8000 m/z) Yes N/A
Enhanced Resolution Mode N/A Yes
Performance and Value


High Resolution Mass Spectrometry with Orbitrap Mass Analyzer for Screening, Confirmative and Quantitative Analyses

Learn how Orbitrap mass analyzer instruments enable consistent analytical certainty even in the most complex matrices based on their high and ultra-high mass resolution capabilities, high sensitivity and selectivity in full scan (and MS/MS) acquisition, mass accuracy and precision (robustness) and ease of use.

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Laboratories performing LC-MS applications strive for certainty when identifying detected compounds. For many small molecule applications, conventional approaches aren’t enough. Laboratories require more, such as rich high quality spectral information and fit for purpose data analysis software to make satisfactory identifications and characterization.

Compound Discoverer software helps you extract high-confidence understanding from comprehensive Q Exactive high-resolution accurate-mass data.


Q Exactive Orbitrap MS ordering guide


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