Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Facility
Former Bigelow Laboratory scientists, Drs. Joaquim Goes and Helga Gomes, collaborated with Professors Elizabeth Stemmler of Bowdoin College, Dasan Thamahtoor of Colby College and Mark Wells of University of Maine to put together a successful proposal for funding of a Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer (LC -MS) by the Maine Technology Institute. This new JEOL®'s AccuTOF-DART LC-MS offers accurate measurements of isotopic abundances with excellent signal-to-noise ratio at high resolving power (>6000 FHWM definition). Additional advantages of the new system include:
- Ease of changing ion sources for different ionizations with the DART system.
- Changing the electrospray ion source can be done without ion source venting, which makes the daily operation of the AccuTOF-DART mass spectrometer much easier and more efficient because it allows analysis of different types of samples without much preparatory work.
- JEOL® instruments employ an easy-to-use PC-based Windows 2000 or Windows XP data system.
- The AccuTOF is not a scanning mass spectrometer. Isotopic abundances are measured for all ions formed in the ion source at the same instant, eliminating errors that result from temporal fluctuations in ion current in the source.
- The DART source for the AccuTOF is a non-contact source that is operated in open air, without the need for vacuum.
- The source has flowing inert gas and is capable of analyzing solids, liquids, or vapors without the need for any sample preparation or chromatography.
- No solvents are required. The response on the source is instantaneous when the sample is exposed to the stream of excited gas. The sample does not need to be exposed to radiation and is analyzed at near-ground potential. A DART-like source is not available for the DFS unit, however.
Once commissioned, the new facility will be open to research and teaching institutions, as well as industrial and governmental entities throughout Maine. This state-of-the-art facility will allow researchers to analyze and identify complex organic compounds from the environment, and will also lead to collaborations among colleagues in the fields of marine chemistry, aquaculture, pharmacy, and fisheries.