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you’re in > Training > Mass Spectrometry Training > Pratical GC-MS training for the Chromatographer

Practical GC-MS training for the Chromatographer
2 Day Course | GC-MS Level 2

This course is designed to enable you to gain the maximum benefit from Gas Chromatography with a Mass Spectrometric detector.
The course will introduce you to quadrupole mass analysers and you will leave with the ability to manually tune the mass spectrometer for optimum performance – either quantitative or qualitative.  You will also gain a detailed understanding of how the ion source operates, what to look for when it becomes contaminated and practically learn how to disassemble, clean and reassemble.
Various spectral experiment types are explored and ALL GC and MS settings and parameters are explained in detail, including their effect on various application types. Feel free to bring along your samples to practice with!

  • We limit numbers to 6 per course so that each delegate gets the opportunity to ask questions and fully participate in practical exercises
  • When delivered on-site we can design the course material to suit your specific training needs
  • Customisable written assessments are available if required

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download course pdfRun at our laboratory facilities or in your own laboratory, this hands-on course is designed to introduce both theory and practical concepts of GC-MS operation. Modern equipment is used in conjunction with interactive teaching techniques and well established practical exercises to ensure maximum return on your training investment.

Who is this course for
These courses are invaluable for anyone wishing to have the most comprehensive grounding in GC-MS operation or those wishing to increase their knowledge and practical ability with our advanced training programs.

Previous knowledge
None, however some experience of operating GC-MS equipment and analysing GC-MS data is advantageous.

What you will learn

  • How the different components of the mass spectrometer work with the gas chromatograph, from the transfer line to the vacuum pumps
  • How ions are produced, filtered and detected, and the alternative ways different instruments achieve this
  • How tuning affects the instrument and the data generated, and how to use this knowledge
  • Critical operating parameters which can be optimised to achieve improvements in sensitivity or specificity
  • How to take a logical approach to troubleshoot the system
  • The critical practical maintenance protocols for the GC and the MSD
Day 1   Day 2


  • GC-MS theory reviewed.
  • Overview of GC requirements
  • GC-MS components
  • Overview of ionisation techniques


  • Use of tunes as a diagnostic tool
  • Important tune diagnostics


  • Electron Impact ionization
  • Chemical Ionization
  • Ion source components

MSD Troubleshooting

  • Understanding and troubleshooting tune reports
  • Changing the tune compound
  • MSD maintenance

The Vacuum System

  • Fore line pumps
  • Turbo pumps
  • Diffusion pumps
  • Principles and operating theory of Quadrupole and Ion Trap mass analysers

Chromatographic Troubleshooting

  • Baseline problems
  • Peak shape problems
  • Retention time drift
  • Peak area irreproducibility

Ion Detection

  • Electron Multiplier detectors
  • Optimising detector sensitivity

Putting it all together

  • Maintenance records and schedules

Training Calendar

Click on a title below to download a detailed course description or click a date and book your course.

Can't find a suitable training course? Call 01357 522 961 or email us.

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Coupling GC to MS Detectors - Direct Interface

Perhaps the most widely used design for modern capillary GC is the 'capillary direct' interface. The advent of capillary columns brought about a significant reduction in the volumetric gas flow exiting the column (typically 1mL/min or below for columns of 0.32mm id and less), and the need to split the analyte away from the carrier gas to reduce gas load into the ion source was eliminated.

In a direct interface, the column is inserted directly into the mass spectrometer ionisation chamber. This interface gives the highest sensitivity, however changing the GC column may be a time consuming process unless curtain gas devices are fitted.

It should be noted that ALL interface designs contain a heat source or are lagged with a heating jacket in order to prevent analyte condensation within the transfer line. The heat applied to the interface must prevent condensation but must also avoid thermal decomposition of labile analytes. In general the heating of the GC-MS system will increase as analytes transition from the column through the interface to the ion source and mass analyser. Different ionisation modes (Electron Impact (EI) and Chemical Ionisation (CI) require different interface, ion source and mass analyser temperatures for optimum operation.

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