The hyphenation of separation methods with mass spectrometry (MS) is one of the major topics in analytical chemistry. This is not only true for pressure-driven methods like HPLC but also for electro-driven ones such as capillary electrophoresis (CE). Research during the first years of CE-MS was primarily focused on technical improvements leading to commercially available equipment, making this combination more reliable and robust. On the other hand investigations on the applicability of CE-MS for the solution of real-world analytical problems were already performed during the early stages of this hyphenated technique. Thereby, CE was able to impress with its exceptional separation efficiency, whereas in most cases low-resolution MS instruments were used as detectors. The further development of reasonably priced benchtop reflectron time-of-flight (TOF)-MS and quadrupole time-of-flight (QTOF) instruments also promoted their use in CEMS, now providing high resolution in both dimensions separation and detection. Although TOF-MS is the most abundant high-resolution mass spectrometer coupled to CE, also other types of MS instruments such as Orbitraps of Fouriertransform- ion- cyclotron-resonance (FTICR)-MS have been employed for this purpose. The main goal of this critical review is to give an overview on the current state in the hyphenation of high-resolution mass spectrometry with electroseparation methods and to discuss possible future trends in this field.
Keywords: Capillary electrophoresis, Mass spectrometric detection, High-resolution mass spectrometry, Time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Review
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