GC/MS alone is one of the most sensitive and commonly used techniques due to its ability to separate out components from complex materials. This is what makes it a workhorse in analytical laboratories. When paired with a TGA, you are able to then analyze each weight loss event while being able to prevent sample overload by different injection methods, as well as taking advantage of the high instrument sensitivity. Each segment can be analyzed individually for a further understanding of the material composition. Since GC/MS is used so universally, there are extensive libraries that can identify each component with little user interaction. When you are looking at a fraction of a percent weight loss in a TGA, a GC/MS coupling excels as it can easily detect and separate the released gas.
The TGA-GC/MS system we use has 16 loop sampling unit, which allows us to take several measurements during the course of a TGA run. For some materials there may be several weight loss events during the course of heating. With sixteen loops we can take samples from all the different locations of interest in a single run, allowing greater confidence in the results as well as determine how the molecule fragments during decomposition. For an example, taking several samples during a single weight loss event can show what fragments come off first and the decomposition process based on the progression through the weight loss.
The precise and power of this hyphenated method means no more guessing what is coming off in the TGA effluent, and no more concerns of low levels of a component being missed. Contact us today to see how this technology can help you understand your materials better.