Evaluation of quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry in comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography.
An instrument for comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) is described using an electrically heated and air-cooled thermal modulator requiring no cryogenic materials or compressed gas for modulator operation. In addition, at-column heating is used to eliminate the need for a convection oven and to greatly reduce the power requirements for column heating. The single-stage modulator is heated by current pulses from a dc power supply and cooled by a conventional two-stage refrigeration unit. The refrigeration unit, together with a heat exchanger and a recirculating pump, cools the modulator to about -30 degrees C. The modulator tube is silica-lined stainless steel with an internal film of dimethylpolysiloxane. The modulator tube is 0.18 mm i.d. x 8 cm in length. The modulator produces an injection plug width as small as 15 ms.