The results of the comparison of product-ion tandem mass (MS/MS) spectra recorded on three ion trap mass spectrometers, a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer and a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer are reported. The spectra were recorded in accordance with a simple experimental protocol, which involved the collision-induced dissociation (CID) attenuation of the abundance of the [MþH]þ ion to between 10 and 50% of its original abundance.
The degree of similarity between the spectra from four of the mass spectrometers was calculated off-line by comparing the five most abundant ions from the spectrum on each instrument. A percentage fit value (20% for each ion that matches) was calculated by comparing each spectrum against the spectra recorded for the same compound on each instrument. The percentage of the inter-library pairwise comparisons (total¼434) that matched to 60% ranged from 64–89%, depending on the instrument pair. A blind trial was also undertaken using five unknown compounds resulting in 1670 pairwise comparisons with the library entries. The blind trial produced no false positives and correct identifications in all cases. The results of the study have established the basis for the construction of a transferable product-ion MS/MS library