The key performance characteristics of FTMS, mass accuracy and resolution, are presented in the view of how they impact the interpretation of measurements in proteomic applications. The theory and principles of operation of two types of mass analyzer, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance and Orbitrap, are described. Major benefits as well as limitations of FTMS technology are discussed in the context of practical sample analysis, and illustrated with examples included as figures in this text and in the accompanying slide set. Comparisons highlighting the performance differences between the two mass analyzers are made where deemed useful in assisting the user with choosing the most appropriate technology for his/her application. Recent developments of these high-performing mass spectrometers are mentioned to provide a future outlook.
The article is published online in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and is free to access.