Gas chromatograph-combustion system for 14C-accelerator mass spectrometry. Academic Article uri icon


  • A gas chromatograph-combustion (GC-C) system is described for the introduction of samples as CO(2) gas into a (14)C accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) system with a microwave-plasma gas ion source. Samples are injected into a gas chromatograph fitted with a megabore capillary column that uses H(2) as the carrier gas. The gas stream from the outlet of the column is mixed with O(2) and Ar gas and passed through a combustion furnace where the H(2) carrier gas and separated components are quantitatively oxidized to CO(2) and H(2)O. Water vapor is removed using a heated nafion dryer. The Ar carries the CO(2) to the ion source. The system is able to separate and oxidize up to 10 microg of compound and transfer the products from 7.6 mL/min of H(2) carrier gas into 0.2-1.0 mL/min of Ar carrier gas. Chromatographic performance and isotopic fidelity satisfy the requirements of the (14)C-AMS system for natural abundance measurements. The system is a significant technical advance for GC-AMS and may be capable of providing an increase in sensitivity for other analytical systems such as an isotope-ratio-monitoring GC/MS.

publication date

  • August 1, 2009