Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry

Gas chromatography provides a means to separate mixtures based on their retention time as they pass through a column with an ultra pure carrier gas (Microtrace currently uses helium carrier). Mass spectrometry utilizes the electrical charge to create ions from these separated compounds by mass. Both the chromatography and spectrometry can be used to identify and quantify compounds. Although not technically a microscopic technique, GC-MS supplements our microchemical methods by providing an extremely sensitive technique to separate and identify trace amounts of complex compounds. Samples introduced into the GC-MS are volatile organic compounds which include drugs, polymers, rubbers, paints, and additives. In addition to the identification and quantification of trace components, GC-MS is also a useful tool for the study of contamination, including  off-odors, off-colors, and a wide variety of other contamination and failure issues.


Microtrace currently operates two GC-MS systems:
Varian CP-3800 GC – Saturn 2200 ion trap MS
Thermo 1310 GC – ISQ LT single quad MS with a PAL autosampler

Microtrace has many sampling methods at its disposal to be prepared for the variety of different material types that are received. These methods include traditional liquid injections, headspace gas injections, SPME and SPME arrow sampling, charcoal strip, thermo desorption, and pyrolysis. Depending on our client’s needs, we are able to customize methodologies for specific task or analyze samples using standard methods.


Related standardized methods: ASTM E1618, E2881

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