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

Drinking Water
Poster Presentation

Prepared by A. Smith Henry, A. Kaspick, W. Song, C. Hemmerich
Agilent Technologies Inc., 2850 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE, 19808, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; 302-636-8252


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.