Selective Detectors for Gas Chromatography

Martin Perkins

24th November 2011

Selective detectors have an important part to play in a wide range of analytical tasks.

There are several important points to take into account:

  1. The use of a selective detector together with a mass spectrometer, can provide valuable additional information concerning the identity of important analytes – more information than you can obtain from mass spectrometry alone.
  2. If you need to analyse for the presence or absence of target analytes, a selective detector may be a much better choice than a mass spectrometer for simple, routine determinations. This is especially true when making trace measurments in samples with a high matrix background or where important components co-elute with other major components.

Selective GC detectors can also provide precise retention time marking for improved MS library matching and peak identification. They can also make it easier to locate and identify those compounds responsible for characteristic aromas, where to do so using an MS alone would be tricky.

Here you will find a list of applications where selective detectors have a part to play…

Pulsed Flame Photometric Detector (PFPD):

  • Arsenic/tin
  • Chemical warfare agents
  • Herbicides
  • Phosphorous containing compounds
  • Sulphur and phosporous containing pesticides
  • Sulphur gases
  • Sulphur compounds in flavours and fragrances
  • Sulphur compounds in foods and beverages
  • Off-odors

Halogen Specific Detector (XSD):

  • Chemical warfare agents
  • Chlorinated pesticides
  • Chlorinated VOCs
  • Herbicides
  • PCBs
  • Trihalomethanes

If you would like a copy of the latest Selective GC Detectors brochure from OI Analytical, email: or call 01954 212909.