Supercritical fluid chromatography/mass spectrometry (SFC/MS) has great potential in high-throughput and the simultaneous analysis of a wide variety of compounds, and it has been widely used in recent years. The use of MS for detection provides the advantages of high sensitivity and high selectivity. However, the sensitivity of MS detection depends on the chromatographic conditions and MS parameters. Thus, optimization of MS parameters corresponding to the SFC condition is mandatory for maximizing performance when connecting SFC to MS. The aim of this study was to reveal a way to decide the optimum composition of the mobile phase and the flow rate of the make-up solvent for MS detection in a wide range of compounds. Additionally, we also showed the basic concept for determination of the optimum values of the MS parameters focusing on the MS detection sensitivity in SFC/MS analysis. To verify the versatility of these findings, a total of 441 pesticides with a wide polarity range (logPow from −4.21 to 7.70) and pKa (acidic, neutral and basic). In this study, a new SFC-MS interface was used, which can transfer the entire volume of eluate into the MS by directly coupling the SFC with the MS. This enabled us to compare the sensitivity or optimum MS parameters for MS detection between LC/MS and SFC/MS for the same sample volume introduced into the MS. As a result, it was found that the optimum values of some MS parameters were completely different from those of LC/MS, and that SFC/MS-specific optimization of the analytical conditions is required. Lastly, we evaluated the sensitivity of SFC/MS using fully optimized analytical conditions. As a result, we confirmed that SFC/MS showed much higher sensitivity than LC/MS when the analytical conditions were fully optimized for SFC/MS; and the high sensitivity also increase the number of the compounds that can be detected with good repeatability in real sample analysis. This result indicates that SFC/MS has potential for practical use in the multiresidue analysis of a wide range of compounds that requires high sensitivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry