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Mass Spectrometry

The CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility houses an Agilent 6540 Quadrupole Time-Of-Flight (QTOF) mass spectrometer with both standard and microfluidic chromatography options.

Learn more about CHIRI’s Mass Spectometry shared resource facility below.



Open hours

Appointments with CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility staff are available 9AM-6PM Monday to Wednesday (excluding Curtin-observed public holidays). Training and access are available on request.

Attribution and authorship

All data generated using the shared equipment should acknowledge the CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility, and where any member of the CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility has made substantial intellectual contributions to the design of your experiment, they should qualify among the authorship list.


Agilent 6540 QTOF MS

The Agilent 6540 QTOF mass spectrometer is a mass accurate instrument capable of less than 3ppm error and a mass range of up to 10000 Daltons. Mass resolution is 45000 FWHM at 1000 Daltons. The 6540 QTOF utilises analog to digital (ADC) conversion technology in its detector setup which provides uncompromising mass resolution at very fast scan speeds with a large dynamic range.

The 6540 QTOF utilises a 1290 Infinity liquid chromatography (LC) system with maximum pressures up to 1200 bar and 5ml/min. This system is designed to handle column stationary phases with sub 2µm particle technology for fast, high resolution chromatography. This LC system couples to a Dual electrospray ionisation (ESI) Jetstream Source for mid-analysis mass accuracy correction.

The 6540 QTOF is also capable of microfluidic chromatography using 1260 Infinity cap/nano pump systems, with chromatography performed on a chip-based enrichment column. This system couples to a Chip Cube nanospray MS interface.

Nexera X2 – High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system

HPLC is a proven, robust analytical platform that permits measurement of the concentration of molecules with high sensitivity (i.e. micro to nano-molar level). The Nexera X2 has diverse potential applications relevant across all lines of research enquiry at CHIRI.

Switching between users for different analytical applications is relatively simple, through either software settings, or switching between separation columns.

If you are interested in being trained and accessing the new HPLC system, please contact CHIRI’s senior technical officer, Ben Hunter.

Training and bookings Instrument training, induction and booking procedures


Training is a prerequisite to accessing the CHIRI Mass Spectrometry shared equipment. Training is provided by CHIRI facility staff and is obligatory regardless of experience using similar instruments. To ensure consistency in training, users are not permitted to train other users. Training on the 6540 QTOF takes approximately 16 hours (usually over three days) and entails theory, practical and software/processing training. Training on the HPLC is also available through CHIRI’s Mass Spectrometry facility staff (contact details below).



  • Theory covers basic principles of sample preparation, liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry principles with grounding in first principles of each technology. Theory will cover basics of most techniques users are exposed to within the CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility.


  • Users are trained in a developing a method for caffeine quantification in food/drink items in an interactive setting. Users are shown basic start up and maintenance procedures, and walked through method development for chromatography and mass spectrometry.


  • Users are familiarised with basic software systems utilised by the 6540 QTOF system, and process data collected in the practical component to detect and quantify caffeine. More complex method development and screening protocols are discussed, as well as methods specific to each user’s project.

Follow-up training

After induction and discussion over each user’s specific application, method development for each user’s project is done under supervision. During this time users are trained in project specific applications of shared equipment. After method development and users are judged competent, further analysis is performed independently.


Access to shared equipment is strictly through CHIRI Mass Spectrometry facility staff. Please contact staff if you are considering usage of shared equipment (see Contact us and feedback section below).

Contact us and feedback Who to contact about mass spectrometry

CHIRI’s Mass Spectrometry Facility Staff are always interested in ways to improve the equipment and services we offer to support your research endeavours. If you have an enquiry or want to provide feedback, please contact:

CHIRI Facilities Manager

Rob Steuart

Email |

Tel | +61 8 9266 7362

Mobile | 0419 192 971

CHIRI Technical Officer (Mass Spectrometry and HPLC)

Ben Hunter

Email |

Mobile | 0437 515 268