# Can Mass Spectrometry be a difficult technique?

1. Mar 17, 2013

### maceng7

I'm just wondering if there are any difficulties that must be overcome to use mass spectrometry. For example if you were to use it with the three isotopes of Carbon ( C12, C13, and C14) where C12 has an abundance of 99%, C13 1% and C14 0.0000000001%. Based on the abundances how would mass spectrometry be difficult? I'm just curious and I couldn't find anything on the internet. Thanks

2. Mar 18, 2013

### Staff: Mentor

What kinds of problems are you thinking about? Misattributing a $^{13}C$ to $^{12}CH$? How do you think that such low abundances would affect the spectrum?