The figure below provides a block diagram of a typical gas chromatography-mass spectrometer (GC–MS) instrument. As illustrated here, a three component mixture enters the GC. When component A elutes from the column, it enters the MS ion source and ionizes to form the parent ion, A+, and several fragment ions, x+, y+, and z+. The ions enter the mass analyzer, which separates them by their mass-to-charge ratio, providing the mass spectrum shown at the detector.


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