Gas Chromatography

The Power of GC Detectors

Learn more about detectors for GC and when to use them...

There are three major strengths of gas chromatography over other common analytical separation techniques. The first is the total separation power afforded by long wall-coated open tubular columns. The second is the speed of separation afforded by the gas-phase separation process. The third, and topic of this article, is the range and capabilities of its detectors. Because the carrier gases used in GC are transparent to most detectors, background levels and interferences are very low. This transparency provides choices in detectors not possible with other separation techniques.

   Detectors fall into two general categories: universal and selective . Universal detectors are able to detect all compounds (or most compounds) that elute. A selective detector only detects compounds with specific molecular, elemental or physical properties.

   By reading this full article you will gain a good understanding of the various types of GC detectors, their advantages and limitations, as well as key information relating to detected species, response characteristics, and dynamic and linear range.

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