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Microplasma Mass Spectrometric Detection in Capillary Gas Chromatography

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A simple and miniaturized 350-kHz helium discharge for plasma mass spectrometric detection in gas chromatography (GC) has been developed. The plasma was sustained at low pressure within the end of the capillary GC column (0.32-mm i.d.) inside the ion source housing of a quadrupole mass spectrometer. This allowed direct introduction of ions from the plasma to the mass analyzer using only a repeller and electrostatic lenses to focus the ions. The plasma was sustained in only 25 mL min-1 of helium, which was accepted by the mass spectrometer vacuum system. This low gas flow also served to enhance the energy density of the discharge and to produce a narrow spray of ions toward the mass analyzer. Due to the miniaturized nature of the plasma, it was operated at a low power level (2.0 W), and traces of oxygen were added to avoid deposition of carbon. With this new concept for GC plasma mass spectrometric detection, chlorine was successfully monitored down to the 2.2 pg s-1 level without interference from elements like C, S, P, O, F, and N.

TidsskriftAnalytical Chemistry
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)513-518
Antal sider6
StatusUdgivet - 1 feb. 1998

ID: 231655383