The mass spectrometry facility dates back to 1969 when an AEI MS-12 (single-focusing) was installed. The MS-12 was in place for nearly two decades until 1986 which marked the arrival of Professor Richard B. Van Breemen, who joined the chemistry faculty at NCSU in 1986. During his term at NCSU, Dr. Van Breemen brought the mass spectrometry facility to a new level through securing funding for a double-focusing magnetic sector mass spectrometer — the MS-12 had to be removed to allow for the installation of the new mass spectrometer.

Upon Dr. Van Breemen's departure, Dr. Carol Haney was hired to further develop the mass spectrometry facility during which time several new instrument installations occurred including one MALDI-TOF, GC-MS, and two LC-MS systems. However, Dr. Haney departed NCSU in 2000 (she was at NSF as a rotator from 1998-2000 so had a limited role) and since that time, the departmental mass spectrometry facility has remained static at a time when mass spectrometry technology grew significantly. This gap in leadership spanned approximately 7 years until Dr. David Muddiman was hired as Professor of Chemistry in 2005 and temporarily assumed the role of the Director of the mass spectrometry facility. Dr. Taufika Islam Williams began her tenure as Director in October 2008.

In recent years, four new instruments have been installed. An LTQ Orbitrap XL, a TSQ Quantum Discovery MAX Triple Quadrupole MS and an Exactive Plus MS came from Thermo Fisher Scientific. In addition, a MALDI-TOF/TOF MS was obtained from AB Sciex.

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