Mass Spectrometry allows you to determine the molecular weight of an unknown compound through its vaporization and ionization.
A mass spectrometer is used to determine the mass to charge ratio of an unknown compound.
Concept #1: A mass spectrometer operates under a very high vacuum while the sample is introduced.
A mass spectrometer involves three primary functions:
1) The vaporization of your unknown compound M into gas M.
2) The ionization of gas M into the molecular ion or radical cation.
3) The detection of all gas ion fragments.
Analysis of all the gaseous ions helps to create a mass spectrum.