The University of Akron Mass Spectrometry Center


The Mass Spectrometry Center primarily serves academic departments at The University of Akron (UA).  It also provides analytical service to the surrounding industrial and research community and to nationwide and global corporate and institutional partners.  Our Laboratory focuses on the structural analysis of synthetic polymers, biomaterials, and polymer-biopolymer conjugates.  Characterization of these substances can be performed by the following soft-ionization methods:  matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI), electrospray ionization (ESI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI), and analysis of solids at ambient pressure (ASAP).  The Center is also equipped to separate mixtures via liquid chromatography (HPLC, UHPLC, nano-LC, and SEC) as well as by ion mobility mass spectrometry (suitable for the differentiation of isomeric architectures).  In addition, the Center offers MALDI surface imaging services.  Lastly, we offer high accurate mass capabilities (< 15 ppm) for small molecule samples that meet requirements of scientific journals.  All of our mass spectrometers have tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS and MSn) capabilities to allow elucidation of structure, sequence, and degradation pathways of materials.



The Center currently maintains and operates six start-of-the-art instruments which are listed below:

(1)       Bruker UltraFlex III MALDI-ToF/ToF (tandem time-of-flight) mass spectrometer;

(2)       Waters Ultima MALDI Q/ToF (quadrupole / time-of-flight) tandem mass spectrometer;

(3)       Bruker HCTultra QIT (quadrupole ion-trap) mass spectrometer coupled with a nano-LC, ESI, and APCI with the capability to perform MSn experiments by collision-activated dissociation (CAD) and electron transfer dissociation (ETD);

(4)       Waters Synapt HDMSTM Q/ToF tandem mass spectrometer coupled with an ultra-high pressure LC, ESI, ASAP and equipped with a traveling wave device between the mass analyzers that permits CAD and ion mobility studies;

(5)       Waters Breeze SEC instrument with capabilities of fractioning polydisperse polymers and determining the molecular weight distribution of such polymers;

(6)       Varian HPLC equipped with a UV-Vis detector.

Staff and Hours of Operation

  • Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis (Director);
  • Graduate Students (as of January 2013): Bryan Katzenmeyer (Service Manager), Aleer Yol, Kai Guo, Nadrah Alawani, Xiumin Liu, Michelle Kushnir, Ahlam Alalwiat, Lydia Cool
  • Service hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Meetings and consultations by appointment; contact Dr. Chrys Wesdemiotis (330-972-7699;


Mass Spectrometry Center Rates for UA Research Groups





$20 a


Accurate Mass (< 15 ppm)

$30 a


MALDI Peptide Mass Fingerprinting (includes sample prep & search)








First Injection


Subsequent Injections

MALDI Imaging


Per slide

Rates effective May 1, 2012.

a Departments of Chemistry, Polymer Science, and Polymer Engineering; 2x rates for all other Departments and for members of the Ohio Mass Spectrometry Consortium.

  • Sample analyses will be completed within two weeks depending on sample load, instrument availability and type of analysis. An email will be sent to the customer when the results are ready to be picked up.

For ESI samples: 

Xiumin Liu

For MALDI samples:

Kai Guo

LC-MS samples:

Xiumin Liu

Ahlam Alalwiat