A new mode of operation for the Aerodyne Quadrupole Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (Q-AMS) has been developed and used to improve the detection limits and time resolution of the instrument. The Jump Mass Spectrum (JMS) mode works by stepping through a small number of specific user defined positions within the mass spectrum, increasing the time spent scanning specific m/z's. The JMS mode is conceptually similar to the "Selected Ion Monitoring" mode of some commercial quadrupole-based instrumentation and can be used for direct quantification when the fragmentation pattern is known. The JMS mode can also be used to augment the standard Q-AMS operation in Mass Spectrum mode when the fragmentation pattern is not known, improving the effective signalto-noise ratio (SNR) and in turn the detection limits and time resolution. A decrease in detection limits for the Q-AMS by factors of 4.6, 3.9, 1.3, and 3.5 for nitrate, sulphate, total organics, and m/z 43 mass loadings respectively was achieved for 1 minute sampling (20 s in each of the three Q-AMS modes, monitoring 10 m/z in JMS mode). Although the benefit to the SNR of the total organic mass concentration measured by the Q-AMS is smaller, sensitivity to organic fragments which can act as markers for various sources and processes (such as fresh primary anthropogenic emissions, aged secondary organics, and biomass burning aerosol), is greatly increased by the JMS mode. Example data from applications that benefit from this technique are presented, including an aircraft platform and in smog chamber experiments, alongside high time-resolution, ground-based data. Copyright © American Association for Aerosol Research.