SolariX Ultra-high Resolution

Mass Spectrometer

The SolariX is an ultra high resolution FT-ICR mass spectrometer, allowing for accurate and sensitive detection of complex small molecule mixtures or large intact proteins and macromolecules.


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The SolariX XR 7T FT-ICR mass spectrometer is an ultra-high resolution instrument, which enables a wide array of experiments including: native mass spectrometry of large proteins and protein complexes, and 2D/3D analysis of thin tissue sections (MALDI imaging). The ultra-high resolution, mass accuracy, and sensetivity allow accurate determination of large proteins/protein complexes, lipids, metabolites, proteins in biological tissues, or identification of low abundant species in a complex mixture.

Unfortunately the ESI source on the instrument is not functioning. For the foreseeable future this instrument is MALDI only. 



      • MALDI Imaging
      • Ultra-high mass resolution (resolving power 1,000,000 @ m/z 400)
      • Sub-ppm mass accuracy
      • Sensitivity
        • ESI: μM to nM
        • MALDI: pmol/mg tissue
      • Multiple ionisation sources
        • ESI/nanoESI
        • MALDI/MALDI imaging


Analysis for SolariX data is supported by the following Bruker software:

  • DataAnalysis
  • BioTools
  • SequenceEditor
  • FlexImaging
  • SCiLs Lab 2D

Access to the above software is available on the SolariX Virtual Machine.


Email Martin Middleditch for all inquiries related to the SolariX FT-ICR MS.  Contact Gus Grey for MALDI Imaging inquiries.



  • The SolariX is mainly used for non-standard or exploratory mass spectrometry experiments. Other instruments are more suitable for high volume or quantitative analysis.
  • Exact quantification is not straightforward and relative abundances are generally reported; however it can be done.
  • The instrument is not housed in a PC1 area and only non-hazardous samples are allowed to be transported to and analyzed in the laboratory.
  • Sample Preparation
    • ESI
      • Standard sample conditions for protein analyses is uM protein conc. in 100 mM ammonium acetate or ammonium bicarbonate.
      • Absolutely no salts (Na,K,Mg,Ca, etc) or small molecule additives (glycerol, TCEP, urea, etc.) in first instance.
    • MALDI
      • The presence of salts in buffers containing analytes should be avoided.
      • For imaging analysis, fresh frozen tissue preferred, although some techniques for analysis of fixed/FFPE sections. Sections should be 10-20 μm thick.


  • There is no liquid chromatography or auto sampler associated with this instrument.
  • Protein digests, very dirty samples, and large sample numbers are best analyzed on other instruments.
  • The mass range is limited to ~m/z 10,000, which restricts the applicability to MALDI protein analyses.
  • MALDI imaging spatial resolution limited to 20 μm, and only for abundant signals. Imaging is not suitable for very low abundance protein analysis, membrane proteins/channels/transporters, or analysis of intact proteins larger than ~10 kDa.


MALDI spots – UOA: $20.00/hr, Outside Academic: $30.00/hr
MALDI Imaging – UOA: $200.00/run, Outside Academic: $250.00/hr
ESI (Trained) – UOA: $50.00/hr, Outside Academic: $150.00/hr
ESI (High User) $50.00/8hrs
Method Development – 8 hrs Free


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 SolariX is housed on the Main Campus in the School of Biological Sciences. Lab access requires health and safety training, and can be granted to users as applicable.


This instrument is available for self-use by trained users. Users are required to undergo training (provided) before using the equipment. Contact Martin Middleditch.


TRAINED USERS ONLY can book the SolariX through 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.