Dispatches from Pittcon 2018 in Orlando
Thermo: GC-MS systems designed to provide advanced levels of throughput
The Thermo Scientific TSQ 9000 triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS and Thermo Scientific ISQ 7000 single quadrupole GC-MS are for environmental and food laboratories.
The TSQ 9000 triple quadrupole GC-MS/MS provides productivity and sensitivity for labs targeting quantitation of trace compounds in complex sample matrices.
Users benefit from reduced cost-per-sample, without compromising analytical performance or uptime through selective reaction monitoring (SRM) sensitivity.
The ISQ 7000 single quadrupole GC-MS is a scalable platform intended to boost performance when needed and ready to adapt to changing regulations. It offers extended uptime to help customers maximize sample throughput.
The ISQ 7000 is next generation of the original ISQ product line – the ISQ QD and ISQ LT and the TSQ 9000 is the follow on to legacy products of the TSQ Duo and TSQ 8000 EVO.
Morten Bern, general manager, GC/GC-MS, chromatography and mass spectrometry, said analytical labs must meet significant challenges to keep up with regulatory requirements.
"To meet these challenges, and to keep up with evolving resource needs, our newest generation of GC-MS systems has been designed with the performance and scalability to enable both experienced and new users to meet the demands of today and tomorrow."
Customer dependant configurations
Todd Stoner, senior business development specialist, environmental and food safety, said it offers five different configurations according to application and customer needs and each one is upgradable to the next tier in the field as necessary.
“Configuration would depend on class of compounds the customer wants to analyse, what additional features they might be interested in such as do they only want to do electron impact ionization or are they interested in chemical ionization as well,” he told FoodQualityNews at Pittcon.
“It also depends on their sensitivity requirements. We offer all the configurations of both systems with two different ion sources. The ExtractaBrite ion source is our standard, legacy ion source and we have a new AEI source that offers increased sensitivity, it is somewhat compound dependant but in general, two to three times more sensitivity.
“In additional to the advanced electron ionization source, we have also done things with software including SmartTune software to help the customer with tuning the mass spectrometer when needed. On the triple quad product line we have made the EvoCell standard which offers more SRMs per second and higher sensitivity.”
Both systems can be equipped with an advanced electron ionization (AEI) source to provide efficient ionization of target compounds with high sensitivity while extending detection limits.
They both feature the patented Thermo Scientific NeverVent technology, available in the systems’ ExtractaBrite ion source configuration, which enhances system uptime by removing the need to vent the mass spectrometer during routine maintenance operations.
Katie Banaszewski, method development scientist at Now Foods, said the AEI source makes analysis and data analysis easier.
"We have improved confidence in the data we obtain from our residue analysis and the highest uncompromised sensitivity."
GC analysis and consumables
Stoner said in GC-MS, compounds leave the GC column and they are introduced into the ion source of the GC-MS where they are ionized.
“In the case of single and triple quad they are introduced into the quadrupole filter where the ions are sorted by their mass to charge ratio. In the single quad from there, those ions are detected as they leave the quadrupole,” he said.
“In the case of the triple quadrupole, as they leave quadrupole one instead of going straight to the detector they go to a collision cell where further energy is applied to the ions causing further fragmentation and then that goes into another quadrupole filter and from there we scan out those ions to the detector.
“Triple quad in general offers two orders of magnitude more sensitivity because in effect you are doing two versions of selected ion monitoring.”
Stoner also spoke about the role of columns, ovens and gases in gas chromotography.
“In some cases there are regulated methods that require a particular gas but in a lot of cases it is user experience to determine what the best carrier gas to use is and what the best collision cell gas to use is in the case of triple quad,” he said.
“We’ve made advancements on the oven on our Trace 1300 series GC. We have taken the traditional oven which usually is flat sheets of solid metal and we’ve perforated it so the metal that is in the GC oven acts more as a backbone to hold the insulation of the oven in place.
“What that does is it lowers the thermo mass of the oven and that allows us to heat up faster and allows faster cool down. So time sample to sample is reduced because you can get back to initial conditions on the oven much quicker and get on to your next sample without having a large cool down time because you are trying to cool flat sheets of solid metal.”