The authors investigated the analytical capabilities of quadrupole, time-of
-flight, and Fourier transform mass analyzers for liquid chromatography ele
ctrospray mass spectrometry (LC-MS) applications. They studied instrument p
arameters - such as sensitivity, mass range, and mass resolution - and issu
es related to sample preparation and separation for the characterization of
low molecular weight compounds in complex environmental matrices. In this
article, the authors discuss the effect of sample preparation on the perfor
mance of LC-MS analytical methods.