The Implications of Detector Performance in GC/MS and LC/MS Analysis – Detectors Make the Difference!


Detector performance is critical to the success of any
given chemical analysis. Two criteria by which to
judge detectors are: 1) linear dynamic range, and 2)
lifetime, which represent instantaneous performance
and long term stability, respectively.
Linear dynamic range is determined by two competing
effects, saturation and superlinearity. As analyte
concentration increases, a saturation point is reached
where the actual signal is lower than the expected
linear response. Superlinearity is an observed effect
which leads to a response that appears larger than
expected (Fig. 1). A long lifetime provides consistent
signal output, minimizing the need to frequently retune
the instrument. Several detector types are compared
to showcase these effects.

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