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Review
. 2008 Jan 4;1177(1):12-27.
doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2007.10.110. Epub 2007 Nov 12.

Ion Mobility Spectrometry Detection for Gas Chromatography

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Review

Ion Mobility Spectrometry Detection for Gas Chromatography

Abu B Kanu et al. J Chromatogr A. .

Abstract

The hyphenated analytical method in which ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is coupled to gas chromatography (GC) provides a versatile alternative for the sensitive and selective detection of compounds after chromatographic separation. Providing compound selectivity by measuring unique gas phase mobilities of characteristic analyte ions, the separation and detection process of gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) can be divided into five individual steps: sample introduction, compound separation, ion generation, ion separation and ion detection. The significant advantage of a GC-IMS detection is that the resulting interface can be tuned to monitor drift times/ion mobilities (as a mass spectrometer (MS) can be tuned to monitor ion masses) of interest, thereby tailoring response characteristics to fit the need of a given separation problem. Because IMS separates ions based on mobilities rather than mass, selective detection among compounds of the same mass but different structures are possible. The most successful application of GC-IMS to date has been in the international space station. With the introduction of two-dimensional gas chromatography (2D-GC), and a second type of mobility detector, namely differential mobility spectrometry (DMS), GC prior to mobility measurements can now produce four-dimensional analytical information. Complex mixtures in difficult matrices can now be analyzed. This review article is intended to provide an overview of the GC-IMS/DMS technique, recent developments, significant applications, and future directions of the technique.

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