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CORESTA Meeting, Smoke Science/Product Technology, 2023, Cancun, STPOST 53

Effect of ion source type and extractor lens diameter on sensitivity and peak shape of semivolatile organic compounds (pyridine, quinoline, and styrene) in gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis using hydrogen carrier gas

Japan Tobacco Inc., Scientific Product Assessment Center, Yokohama, Kanagawa 227-8512, Japan

Owing to the recent worldwide shortage and unstable supply of helium (He), the use of alternative carrier gases (hydrogen (H2) and nitrogen (N2)) for gas chromatography (GC) analysis has been drawing global attention. As an alternative carrier gas for GC with mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS) using electron impact ionization, H2 is reported to be superior to N2 in terms of sensitivity and separation; however, its use tends to cause reactions between H2 and analytes in the ion source. To reduce this effect, it is recommended to use a larger diameter extractor lens in the MS ion source. The Hydroinert source, which was released by Agilent in 2022 for exclusive use with H2, has a 9 mm lens by default.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate how the type of ion source and lens diameter affect the sensitivity and peak shapes in GC/MS analysis of semivolatile organic compounds such as pyridine, quinoline, and styrene when using H2 as carrier gas. Data for three lens diameters (3, 6, and 9 mm) were acquired for a conventional extractor source and the Hydroinert source, and sensitivity (signal-to-noise ratio) and peak shape were evaluated. Peak tailing that was observed using the extractor source was improved by using the Hydroinert source and good peak shape was obtained. The smallest lens diameter (3 mm) showed better sensitivity than the recommended larger diameter lens.

This study showed that the Hydroinert source is effective in improving peak shape and that the sensitivity varies depending on the lens diameter. The effect of lens diameter may differ depending on the analyte.