Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is the fastest-growing GC method. Mass detection, which can take a variety of forms based on the MS component, provides a dimension that conventional thermal conductivity or flame ionization detectors cannot, namely selectivity and absolute identification of both known and unknown compounds.

Top 7 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a GC-MS system

1. What factors come into play when determining the GC-MS specifications you require in terms of throughput, sensitivity, precision, robustness, software and results displayed?

2. What differentiates the vendor’s GC-MS from others offered, in terms of performance?

3. How do you validate the specification claims presented by the vendor?

4. Has the data processing software been designed for enhanced analytics, with lab workflow in mind and does it support critical compliance requirements?

5. Are there specific analysis packages available for the product? If so what are the limitations of each package, e.g. is the package CI-upgradable?

6. This includes an effective distribution of instruments, spare parts, education, and service personnel. How does the company serve these needs in your area?

7. Besides published specifications, what can the vendor show you to validate performance in your lab with real-world samples?

Five Fast Facts on GC-MS:

• GC-MS is suited to every organic chemical discipline where GC is found, including the chemical, pharmaceutical, environmental, and forensics industries, as well as basic research

• Software and information technology supporting GC-MS have greatly improved over the years. Many systems today are supported by compound libraries and integrate with laboratory information management systems and/or electronic notebooks that allow archiving, managing, and sharing of analytical data.

• A typical entry-level GC-MS system would likely incorporate a singlequadrupole (“quad”) detector or a more sophisticated ion trap, which allows extensive analysis of fragments and fragments of fragments—“MS/ MS” experiments.

• Triple-quad GC-MS is particularly effective at breaking through difficult sample matrices

• With the introduction of quad MS detectors operating at 100 Hz, GCxGCMS has become easier to achieve. Fast-quad detectors are also required for methods that have been ported to narrow-bore columns to increase speed and throughput.

Recently Released GC-MS system products

• Offers excellent performance and ease of use
• Designed especially to enhance data quality and productivity for analysts working in routine testing and applied markets
• Features the industry’s first ion ‘lens-free’ technology
• Significantly more sensitive and robust than previous GC-MS instruments
• Comes in a very compact bench space saving footprint


• High-sensitivity analysis allows a wide variety of measurement modes, including MRM, scan, combination scan/ MRM, and neutral loss scan
• Features Shimadzu’s UFsweeper® technology, which minimizes collision cell length and provides high-CID efficiency and high ion transport speed
• Comes equipped with Advanced Scanning Speed Protocol
• Makes high-speed MRM acquisition possible


TRIDION™-9 Portable GC-MS
• Allows users to collect and concentrate analytes quickly without the need for other extraction equipment or solvents
• Weighs only 32 pounds
• Ready for sample analysis in ~5 min from a “cold start”
• Run-to-run cycle times are typically ~5 min

Torion Technologies

SilTite™ μ-union GC Connector
• Simplifies connecting GC guard columns or twodimensional GC
• Is chemically inert and offers superb operational stability
• Also provides low dead volume, is easy to install and provides a leak free connection
• Achieves a perfect, reliable seal even for sensitive GC-MS systems

SGE Analytical Science

GC-MS system Manufacturers

Thermo Fisher Scientific