# Mass Spectrometry
Mass spectrometers are only capable to measure charged molecules (ions). Thus, the ionization source generates ions by ionizing molecules.
The mass analyzer measures the mass of ionized molecules or rather the mass-to-charge ratio of ions.
# Ionization Source
With conventional atmospheric pressure methods, the ions are mostly formed outside the inlet of a MS. This implies that the substance to be analyzed (e.g. coffee) cannot be analyzed directly, but is usually "sprayed" into the MS in the form of a sample (liquid extract) via the ionization source.
The patented SICRIT ionization source extends the atmospheric pressure inlet of the MS and ionizes all molecules which are drawn into the MS by its inherent vacuum. Due to the flow-through design of the ionization source, it is dedicated for online-monitoring of volatiles without any consumables as well as for demanding hyphenation techniques.