Instrument Hub


Mass Spectrometer

The QSTAR XL offers protein, peptide and metabolite identification from samples including digested gel bands, immuno-precipitations, solution samples, tissues and biofluids.

Similar Instruments




The QSTAR XL Quadrupole-Time-of-Flight instrument offers fragmentation analysis for peptide or metabolite identification by MS/MS, and is typically set up with capillary scale reversed-phase HPLC columns for chromatographic separations. It can also be used for simple infusion experiments. LC-MS for protein MW determination is a popular application on this instrument. Other applications include accurate intact MW measurement of proteins and unknown species, profiling of low MW species (discovery or targetted work), PTM analysis, and quantitative global proteomics (iTRAQ). Protein identification by LC-MS/MS can be obtained from digested gel bands, immuno-precipitations, solution samples, tissues, and biofluids. Users can be provided with training for self use.



        • Mass Range: 20-40,000 m/z
        • Mass Accuracy : 10-50 ppm
        • Mass Resolution: 10,000
        • HPLC or direct infusion
        • Ion Sources: ESI


Analysis for the QSTAR XL is supported by the following software:

  • ProteinPilot
  • PeakView
  • MultiQuant
  • MarkerView
  • Skyline

Access to the above software is available in the analysis suite. Contact Martin Middleditch for more information.


Email Martin Middleditch for all enquiries related to the QSTAR XL MS.


  • Sample preparation protocols for each project should preferably be discussed beforehand for quality data analysis.
  • Sample preparation involving serum albumin should be avoided where possible as the albumin can suppress other scarce proteins/peptides.
  • While LC-MS does deal with some level of salts, it is best to minimise concentrations of non-volatile buffers.
  • It is best if no detergents are used during sample prep, or extensive steps taken to massively reduce their concentration in the final extract.
  • This instrument is not housed in a PC1 area and only non-hazardous samples are allowed to be transported to and analyzed in the laboratory.


  • The resolution, sensitivity, sampling speed, dynamic range and mass accuracy are lower compared to the TripleTOF 6600 instrument.
  • The instrument is set up for capillary flow chromatography.
  • CID is the only fragmentation process available


The cost varies depending on task and support level required. Current user costs are listed in iLab booking system.


Available for postgraduate students, doctoral candidates and staff of the University of Auckland. External users and commercial users are also eligible to use the equipment.

Access Requirements

The QSTAR XL is housed on the Main Campus in the School of Biological Sciences.


This instrument is available for self-use. Users are required to undergo training (provided) before using the equipment. Training is booked through the iLab booking system.


Trained users can book the QSTAR XL through the Auckland Science Analytical Services (ASAS) iLab booking system. Users and their principal investigators or research group need to first have accounts in the iLab booking system. Instructions, details and FAQs on how to sign up to iLab can be found on the ASAS website.