Technical Note: In-situ derivatization thermal desorption GC-TOFMS for direct analysis of particle-bound non-polar and polar organic species
1Department of Sedimentology & Environmental Geology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Germany
2Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre – Comprehensive Molecular Analytics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany
3Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre – Institute of Chemistry, Division of Analytical and Technical Chemistry, University of Rostock, Germany
Abstract. An in-situ derivatization thermal desorption method followed by gas chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (IDTD-GC-TOFMS) was developed for determination of polar organic compounds. Hydroxyl and carboxyl groups of compounds such as anhydrous sugars, alcohols and phenols, fatty acids and resin acids are targets of the derivatization procedure. Derivatization is based on silylation with N-Methyl-N-trimethylsilyl-trifluoroacetamide (MSTFA) during the step of thermal desorption. The high temperature of 300 °C during desorption is utilized for the in-situ derivatization on the collection substrate (quartz fibre filters) accelerating the reaction rate. Thereby, the analysis time is as short as without derivatization. At first the filter surface is dampened with derivatization reagent before insertion of the sample into the thermal desorption unit. To ensure ongoing derivatization during thermal desorption the carrier gas is saturated with MSTFA until the desorption procedure is finished. The method introduced here was compared with direct thermal desorption gas chromatography time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (DTD-GC-TOFMS) and with solvent extraction (SE) procedures followed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. Comparisons were carried out with field samples originating from ambient aerosol collected on quartz fibre filters. Moreover, the methods have been applied on NIST Standard Reference Material Urban Dust (SRM 1649a).