Time-resolved cryogenic modulation for targeted multidimensional capillary gas chromatography analysis

Philip J. Marriott, Ruby C.Y. Ong, Russell M. Kinghorn, Paul D. Morrison

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Multidimensional gas chromatography (MDGC) is performed in a new manner, described in this paper. The method incorporates two directly coupled columns and employs a longitudinally modulated cryogenic trap located between the columns. No heartcutting process is used, but rather a method better termed selected zone compression pulsing is used. Compared with normal MDGC, where primary column effluent has to be temporarily diverted either to a monitor detector or to the second dimension column, the new procedure in its simplest mode passes all of the first column effluent to the second column. It is simply the times at which the modulation of the trap is performed that determines which target solutes will be selected for enhanced separation. This approach allows almost instantaneous separation of selected zones on the second column, and has the potential to significantly simplify the MDGC method. Since data are presented in a time-response format, and do not require transformation as previously described for comprehensive GC when using the longitudinal modulator, quantitation and report generation are essentially the same as in any GC method and data system. Advantages also include significant sensitivity improvement. By using cryofocussing, and benefiting from the zone compression effects along with fast GC conditions on the second dimension, new possibilities for MDGC can be realised. The method is demonstrated by using a mixture of semi-volatile aromatic hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-28
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Coupled columns
  • Cryogenic trapping
  • Gas chromatography
  • Hydrocarbons, aromatic

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