The Scottish Instrumentation and Resource Centre for Advanced Mass Spectrometry is a facility for ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry, based in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh.

The centre provides one of the most advanced mass measurement facilities in Europe providing access to academic and industrial users from across Scotland, the UK and the world.

The centre aims to:

  • provide a national facility for cutting-edge mass spectrometry
  • collaborate with academic and industrial groups worldwide
  • offer expertise in form of services, training and consultancy

How can SIRCAMS Help You?

  • Mass spectrometry is a rapid, cost-effective and accessible form of analysis
  • We can handle a wide range of samples from biological tissues to large inorganic complexes
  • Assist industries such as small and large Pharma, SME’s, Food and Drink and petrochemical
  • Design experiments to solve complex analytical problems
  • End to End Service
  • Expert staff dedicated to commercial interaction
  • Rapid response times for urgent commercial service


The centrepiece of our facility is a Bruker Daltonics 12T SolariX Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer (FT-ICR MS). This instrument, the first of its kind in the UK, is equipped with multiple ionisation sources and dissociation methods.

Bruker Mass Spec instrumentIonisation Methods

  • Electrospray ionization (ESI)
  • Nano electrospray ionisation (nESI)
  • Laser desorption/ionization (LDI)
  • Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)
  • Atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI)
  • Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI)
  • Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis (LESA™)

Dissociation Methods

  • Collision-induced dissociation (CID)
  • Electron transfer dissociation (ETD)
  • Electron capture dissociation (ECD)
  • Sustained on/off-resonance irradiation collision-induced dissociation (SORI-CID)
  • Infrared multiphoton dissociation (IRMPD)

This state-of-the-art instrument is available as a research tool for both academic and industrial collaboration. FT-ICR MS displays the highest mass resolution (2,000,000), the best mass accuracy (sub-ppm) of any MS technique.

The SolariX MALDI source is based on a dual ion funnel design that includes the combination of MALDI and ESI. This unique source is capable of immediate and effortless switching between the two ionisation methods. The combination of MALDI with the SolariX FTMS addresses a need in the industrial and in academic research institutions for a high-performance imaging solution targeted specifically to the tissue distribution of small molecule drugs and metabolites, endogenous metabolic spatial profiling, and lipid imaging.

The SolariX MALDI system incorporates the innovative, proprietary smartbeam-II™ laser which includes a robust solid state 1 kHz laser with advanced optics for molecular imaging, for:

  • Ultra-high mass resolution high-sensitivity small molecule MALDI-MS imaging, without a loss in sensitivity due to MS/MS for selectivity
  • Sensitivity necessary to detect drugs and metabolites at therapeutic dosages
  • Fast data acquisition of up to 1 pixel/sec with 1 kHz laser speed
  • Laser spot sizes down to 20 um allowing high spatial resolution
  • Instantaneous source switching allowing trouble free changeover from ESI to MALDI

Students using the UltraflexXtremeFeatures the latest advancements in the sensitivity, resolution and mass accuracy of MALDI-TOF and TOF/TOF technology for high-success expression proteomics and advanced biomarker discovery studies. The innovative smartbeam-II™ laser enables ultra-high data acquisition speed in both MS and MS/MS at full systems performance. The well-established proprietary smartbeam-II™ laser provides unprecedented analytical and matrix flexibility in workflows from protein tissue imaging, intact proteins analysis, glycoproteomics, biologics or oligo QC.


  • Up to 40,000 mass resolution and 1 ppm mass accuracy
  • Mass range 50-500,000 m/z
  • Tissue imaging at 20 µm spatial resolution; integrated with histology
  • High throughput analysis with 2 kHz laser and 384 well sample target
  • Protein quantification using stable isotope labelling (iTRAQ, SILAC, etc.)
  • Laser spot sizes down to 20 µm allowing high spatial resolution
  • Top-down protein sequencing of without enzymatic digestion

Waters Synapt G2 HDMS instrumentSYNAPT™ G2 HDMS is a high resolution MS/MS platform designed to get you to the right result, faster-whether you specialize in metabolite profiling, proteomics, biomarker discovery, biopharmaceuticals or screening applications.

The SYNAPT™ G2 is an ion mobility/mass spectrometry (IM/MS) instrument equipped with an electrospray ionization source. The instrument can be operated in the IM/MS and in the MS only mode.


  • Up to 40,000 mass resolution and 1 ppm mass accuracy
  • Mass range 20 – 100,000 m/z
  • Hydrogen Deuterium Exchange (HDX-MS)
  • Liquid Extraction Surface Analysis (LESA™)
  • ACQUITY UPLC® for the highest chromatographic resolution, speed and sensitivity.
  • QuanTof Technology ensures you'll capture the most complete and informative exact mass data in UPLC® timeframes, complemented by UPLC/MSE capability to capture all of the data all of the time.

Shimadzu GCMS-QP2010-SE instrumentThe Shimadzu single quadrupole GCMS-QP2010 SE offers reliable, cost effective productivity for the most challenging laboratory applications. The GCMS-QP2010 SE has the versatile functionality and robust, simple operation necessary for high-throughput production laboratories performing routine analyses.

The EI ion source is equipped with an automatic-switching dual filament to minimize maintenance, and the acquired mass spectra can be searched against NIST, Wiley, and custom mass spectral libraries.


  • Mass range 1.5-1000 m/z
  • column flow rates up to 4 mL/minute (He)
  • scan speeds up to 10,000 u/second
  • three operation modes: scan, SIM, and scan/SIM

Thermo LTQ Orbitrap Classic instrumentThe LTQ-Orbitrap is a hybrid linear ion trap with a high resolution Orbitrap detection system. It is interfaced with a Waters NanoAcquity UHPLC system.  The instrument has two mass analyzers: 1) orbitrap 2) linear ion trap.  Orbitrap provides high resolution and high accuracy mass spectrum, whereas linear ion trap is capable of collision induced dissociation (CID) for peptide sequencing with a faster scan rate.  By combining the strength of orbitrap and linear ion trap, LTQ orbitrap can identify and quantify thousands of different proteins in a few days from in-gel digestion, immunoprecipitation proteomics, and shotgun proteomics.


  • Up to 100,000 mass resolution and <3 ppm mass accuracy
  • Mass range 100 – 4000 m/z
  • Protein quantification using stable isotope labelling (iTRAQ, mTRAQ, SILAC, etc.)

Thermo Finnigan MAT900XP Sector instrumentThe MAT900XP is a double focusing mass spectrometer offering high performance. High mass resolution and automated accurate mass assignment are routine in all modes of ionization.

Ionisation Methods

  • Electron Impact (EI) with solid/liquid interface
  • Chemical Ionisation (CI)
  • Fast Atom Bombardment (FAB)
  • Electrospray ionization (ESI)


  • Up to 20,000 mass resolution and <1 ppm mass accuracy
  • Mass range 100 – 1000 m/z


Head of Mass Spectrometry

Mass Spectrometry Facility Technician

Web Enquiry

Contact Details

Dr Logan C Mackay

Head of Mass Spectrometry

Joseph Black Building
University of Edinburgh
David Brewster Road
Edinburgh EH9 3FJ

Tel: +44(0)131 651 3048



Phone: +44 (0) 131 651 3048

School of Chemistry:

Phone: +44 (0) 131 650 4730