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Gas chromatography/multiphoton ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry of polychlorinated biphenyls

Analytica Chimica Acta
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2011.03.041
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • Gas Chromatography
  • Multiphoton Ionization
  • Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry
  • Physics


Abstract A sample mixture of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was measured by gas chromatography/multiphoton ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/MPI/TOF-MS) using four types of laser sources. When a fourth harmonic emission (266 nm) of a picosecond Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) was utilized, highly chlorinated PCBs larger than hepta-CBs were not observed. A fifth harmonic emission (213 nm) of the picosecond Nd:YAG laser allowed the measurement of PCBs from di-CBs to octa-CBs, and the limit of detection (LOD) was several pg for each component of PCBs. The LOD for the total amount of PCBs, which was calculated using the protocol provided by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, was 1000 pg. The signal intensity of the congeners with chlorine atoms at the ortho positions (non-coplanar PCBs) was enhanced by using the fifth harmonic emission. When the fourth harmonic emission remaining after fifth harmonic generation was simultaneously used, the LOD for total PCBs was improved to 667 pg. The PCB sample was also measured using a third harmonic emission (267 nm) of a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser (800 nm), providing an LOD of 677 pg. Thus, the two-color beam (266/213 nm) of a picosecond Nd:YAG laser had a comparable, or even slightly superior, performance to the more expensive femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser.

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