Optimizing GC/MS Hardware and Software Parameters for Peak Performance in Environmental Analyses

Drinking Water
Poster Presentation

Prepared by , A. Kaspick, W. Song, C. Hemmerich

Contact Information: angela.smith@agilent.com; 302-636-8252


ABSTRACT

Peak performance for continuously operating GC/MS systems requires the system to be free of leaks and active sites that can negatively affect chromatography. First, leak-free connections in a GC/MS system are crucial to avoid column degradation and replacement, increasing baselines and poor or loss of response for analytes. Leaks can be introduced by under-tightening or over-tightening connections, bad column cuts, or incorrect column installation depths. Employing self-tightening nuts and graphite vespel ferrules, or pre-swageable ferrules, are easier to use and can minimize leaks, which avoids time (and money) wasting activities, like leak hunting. Coupling inert flow path with leak-free connections and alternate diameter extraction lenses help in maintaining chromatographic efficiency, baseline stability and, in some cases, improved calibration curve results and peak responses. Taking a step beyond the GC/MS hardware, optimizing method parameters, such as switched septum purge and pulsed splitless injections, can further improve peak responses and calibration curve results.