Gas Chromatography (GC) coupled to Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS)

Complex analyte mixtures like for example food, flavours, natural gas and environmental applications often demand a second and independent separation step in order to seperately analyse the multiplicity of compounds at lowest (ppb) concentration levels.

To overcome the limitation of IMS with regard to separation efficiency G.A.S. equips almost all of its IMS systems with gas chromatographic (GC) columns. The volatile compounds of samples under testing are pre-separated in time by a GC column. The discrete compounds elute directly into the IMS ionization chamber, so that analyte and/or ion interactions and a competition of analytes on the reactand ions can be avoided. This set-up enhances the sensitivity of the detector towards individual compounds.

The GC-IMS setup enables a twofold separation of analyte mixtures and the detection by the IMS electrometer. Since the IMS measurements are extremely fast (30ms / spectrum) a continuous and high-resolution recording of analyte signals is provided. Shown figure sketches the GC-IMS sample flow and detection leading to a 3D-dataset of GC- and IMS separation, same as the corresponding intensity which are processed using G.A.S. VOCal and additional software tools.



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