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Course content

The student will acquire a thorough familiarity with the physical and chemical basis of mass spectrometry, and with analytic use of mass spectrometry in organic chemistry and biochemistry.

Learning outcome

On succesful completion of this course:

  • you will have a deep knowledge about he principles behind the most common mass analysators: magnetic (double focusing), quadrupol, ion trap, ion cyclotron resonance (ICR and FT-ICR), time-of-flight analysator (TOF), and the combinations GC/MS and LC/MS.
  • you will know the principles of the main ionisation methods: electron ionisation (EI), chemical ionisation (CI), field ionisation (FI), photo ionisation (PI), fast atom bombardement (FAB), secundary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), field desorption (FD), plasma desorption (PD), laser desorption (LD and MALDI), and electrospray ionisation (ESI).
  • you will have detailed knowledge about the physico-chemical principles of mass spectrometry: kinetics and energy in monomolecular reactions, energy distribution, reaction mechanisms, ion structure, metastable ions, collision activation, tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS), isotope effects – also ion/molecule reactions, proton affinity, acidity and basicity in the gas phase.
  • you will be able to interpret mass spectra and know the principles of fragmentation. Examples are selected both from simple organic compounds and from more complicated biological compounds (peptides, proteins).

Other topics are analysis of mixtures, quantitative analysis, data processing, and library searching.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

KJM1110 – Organic chemistry I (continued) or equivalent courses.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with KJM9240 – Mass spectrometry


The course consists of 30 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars.

The first lecture is mandatory. If you are unable to attend, the Expedition Office has to be informed in advance (phone 22 85 54 46, or e-mail, or else you will lose your place in the course.


Oral examination.

Information about examination rules

Examination support material

Calculator that fulfills the requirements specified by The Department of Mathematics (only in Norwegian).

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The teaching may be cancelled if less than 5 students register for the course.

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)