Full automation of derivatization--solid-phase microextraction-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry with a dual-arm system for the determination of organometallic compounds in aqueous samples

J Chromatogr A. 2004 Jan 30;1025(1):77-84. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2003.10.061.


The determination of organometallic compounds in aqueous samples by in-vial derivatization and headspace solid-phase microextraction (SPME)-gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry (MS) has been fully automated using a Twin PAL dual-arm robotic system. Linearity, accuracy, sensitivity for a series of n-methyl, n-ethyl, and n-phenyl metal substituted chloride compounds of tin, lead, and mercury were investigated. The automated method was compared to similar manual methods and improved precision, speed and throughput was achieved. By originally programming the Twin PAL dual-arm system with the supplier's software (Cycle Composer, Version 1.5.0) the arms on the robot were only able to work in sequence. However, in order to have a flexible system and exploit time efficiently the robotic arms must work simultaneously. This was accomplished by programming the robot with the new software package called Cruise Control 4-2 for Twin PALs. Compared to Cycle Composer, Cruise Control 4-2 enhanced the speed and throughput of the automated system further. In addition, with a built-in crash prevention protocol and an improved user interface a more user-friendly system was obtained.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Automation*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / instrumentation
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Organometallic Compounds / analysis*
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Water