Submitted to: Elsevier
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 4/5/2006
Citation: Mastovska, K. 2006. Instrumental aspects and application of (ultra)fast gc-ms. Encylcopedia of Mass Spectrometry Elsevier. 8:73-83.
Technical Abstract: The combination of gas chromatography (GC) with mass spectrometry (MS) provides several advantages over the use of other detection techniques, one of them being the possibility to spectrometrically resolve co-eluting peaks that have some differences in their MS spectra. This feature becomes extremely important in fast GC because chromatographic resolution often has to be sacrificed for an increase in speed in GC. This article discusses the major aspects of fast GC-MS, including the ways to speed GC separation and the requirements made on both GC and MS instrumentation. Current fast GC-MS techniques are reviewed, mainly in terms of their applicability in routine practice. The main approaches that are currently used or have a potential to be used in fast GC-MS applications typically employ short capillary columns in addition to: (i) fast temperature programming using conventional GC ovens or resistive heating; (ii) reduced column inner diameter; (iii) sub-ambient pressure in the analytical column in low-pressure GC-MS; (iv) high carrier gas flow rates in combination with supersonic molecular beam MS; and (v) pressure-tunable GC-GC for improved selectivity with respect to the utilization of time. In routine practice, the entire laboratory operation, including sample preparation, data analysis and reporting, should be streamlined in order to fully benefit from the fast GC-MS implementation.