Forensic scientists often use gas chromatography to determine the presence of illegal substances in subjects, analyze emerging designer drugs, test blood or fibers from a crime scene, and detect possible residues left by explosives or accelerants.
Known advantages of VUV Spectroscopy
- Provides unambiguous identification of isomers, which are difficult to characterize by mass spectrometry (MS)
- Non-destructive detection that complements MS
- Orthogonal technique for confirming compound identity
- Peer reviewed drug of abuse data shows quantitative results in the low nanogram range
- Provides compound class information for closely related unknown compounds
- Software deconvolution of analyte co-elution allows short GC chromatographic compression
- Easy to understand analysis by Beer-Lambert Law (same principle used in UV-Vis spectroscopy)
See the latest on the GC-VUV solution for the rapid identification and quantitation of drugs of abuse, as well as a new method for fire debris analysis
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Solving Analytical Challenges in Forensics
Key Features of VUV Spectroscopy
- High degree of data analysis automation reduces human error
- Intuitive spectral fingerprint compound identification and Beer’s Law quantitation eliminates guesswork
- Software deconvolution of co-eluting analytes allows chromatography runtimes to be deliberately compressed
- Proprietary algorithms automate compound class characterization
Coeluting Peaks and VUV Absorbance Spectra – When a Little Means a LotJack Cochran, VUV Analytics
Jack Cochran, VUV Analytics
As a gas chromatographer using MS the coeluting-isomer problem didn’t bother me too much, as it allowed me to practice the art of separation. Inevitably though, critical compound separation leads to undesirable, longer GC run times, which brings us back to VUV and its uniqueness.
Discriminating Isomers and Isotopologues using Gas Chromatography – Vacuum Ultraviolet SpectroscopyDr. Kevin A. Schug, et al., University of Texas, Arlington
Dr. Kevin A. Schug, et al., University of Texas, Arlington
Dr. Schug's presentation at ISCC and GCxGC 2017 discusses how Sum Squared Residual values relate to the differentiation of isomers by GC-VUV. Isomer systems investigated include petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, fatty acids, polychlorinated biphenyls, designer drugs, and benzene isotopologues.
Characterization of Thermal Runaway Events in Lithium Batteries via Gas Chromatography – Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy
In this bulletin we demonstrate the use of a GC detector based on this short wavelength region, known as the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) region, in the characterization of volatile gases evolved during thermal runaway events in lithium-ion and lithium-metal batteries.
Approaching the Opioid Epidemic: One Analysis at a Time — Fentanyl Isomer Analysis by GC-VUVLindsey Shear-Laude, VUV Analytics
Lindsey Shear-Laude, VUV Analytics
Lindsey describes how VUV spectra enable the clear differentiation of fentanyl isomers. GC-VUV offers a new tool for seized drug analysis where structural isomers are encountered. Fentanyl analysis is simplified by fully characterizing compounds with low mass quant ions that are problematic with GC-MS.
“The VUV detector has proven itself with the ability to distinguish olefins and aromatics from aliphatics – that’s a killer application given the complexity and time involved using any other technique. The VUV detector’s ability to perform a more accurate and much more robust PIONA analysis is an important milestone in its ongoing success.”
Bill Winniford, Fellow
Bill Winniford, Fellow, The Dow Chemical Company, Houston, Texas, USA
“VUV spectroscopy adds a dimension that is complementary to mass spectrometry, offering selectivity that is difficult to otherwise obtain.”
Hans-Gerd Janssen, Professor and Science Leader
Hans-Gerd Janssen, Professor, University of Amsterdam, and Science leader, Unilever Research Vlaardingen, the Netherlands
“One of the main advantages of VUV detection for us appeared to be the ability to gain more specific molecular information…co-elutions that we know exist but cannot be identified with FID can be unraveled.”
Pierre Giusti, Molecular Separation & Identification Service Manager, and Gaelle Jousset, Gas Chromatography Laboratory Manager
Pierre Giusti, Molecular Separation & Identification Service Manager, and Gaelle Jousset, Gas Chromatography Laboratory Manager, Research & Development, TOTAL Refining & Chemicals, Normandy, France
“The VUV detector will be used as a universal, calibration-free tool that provides the relative quantitative values of distinct molecules in mixtures in a rapid manner.”
Luigi Mondello, Chair of ISCC and GCxGC Conference in Riva del Garda, and Professor
Luigi Mondello, Chair of ISCC and GCxGC Conference in Riva del Garda, and Professor, University of Messina, Italy
“One thing that I really like about VUV is that it can be considered a universal detector but with the advantage of being familiar to us. We all used UV spectrometers in school.”
Nicholas Snow, Professor
Nicholas Snow, Professor, Seton Hall University, New Jersey, USA
“Eliminates ionization inefficiencies that are encountered in mass spectrometry analysis."
Mark R. Emmett, Ph.D.
Mark R. Emmett, Ph.D. Professor, The University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, UTMB Cancer Research Center
“An amazingly simple concept extended into a powerful spectral region."
Tim Hossain, Ph.D.
Tim Hossain, Ph.D. Chief Scientist, Cerium Laboratories
“The VUV detector is a powerful new tool in the GC toolbox."
Kevin A. Schug, Ph.D.
Kevin A. Schug, Ph.D. Professor & Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, The University of Texas at Arlington