Shimadzu's Tracera High-Sensitivity Gas Chromatograph Incorporates Novel Plasma Technology to Enable Trace Analysis

  Shimadzu's Tracera High-Sensitivity Gas Chromatograph Incorporates Novel
  Plasma Technology to Enable Trace Analysis

 —Achieves detection sensitivity over 100 times that of general-purpose TCD,
                         and over twice that of FID—

Pittcon 2013

Business Wire

KYOTO, Japan -- February 18, 2013

Shimadzu Corporation (TOKYO:7701) today introduced the Tracera, a
high-sensitivity gas chromatograph. Tracera is equipped with the newly
developed barrier discharge ionization detector (BID), which is capable of
detecting all types of trace organic and inorganic compounds, with the
exception of helium (He) and neon (Ne), at the 0.1ppm level (i.e. sub-ppm,
where ppm refers to parts per million). Tracera GC is applicable for many
types of high-sensitivity analyses typically performed with GC systems
incorporating multiple detectors.

High-Sensitivity Gas Chromatograph: Shimadzu's Tracera GC is a ground-breaking
new system that combi ...

High-Sensitivity Gas Chromatograph: Shimadzu's Tracera GC is a ground-breaking
new system that combines the newly developed barrier discharge ionization
detector (BID). (Photo: Business Wire)

This system will make its debut at PITTCON 2013, an international analytical
instrument exhibition convened in the United States (March17 to 21 at the
Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Booth# 1434).

[Background to Development]

Gas chromatographs are used for research & development and quality control in
a number of fields, involving petrochemistry, fine chemicals, the environment,
pharmaceuticals, foods, electronics/semiconductors, and fragrances. In recent
years, demands for higher sensitivity and trace quantity analyses have
increased. Examples include impurity analysis on the order of a few ppm for
materials used in fine chemical products, and gas purity analysis for
semiconductor manufacture.

Thermal conductivity detectors (TCD) and flame ionization detectors (FID) are
general-purpose detectors used in conventional gas chromatographs. A TCD
detects a variety of inorganic and organic compounds, excluding the carrier
gas component, but the sensitivity is insufficient. An FID is capable of
detecting trace components at the ppm level, but can only detect organic
compounds (excluding formaldehyde and formic acid). Analysis has thus required
complex systems incorporating a variety of detectors to suit the target
component.

With this issue in mind, Shimadzu has investigated the basics of plasma
detection technology as a means for increasing sensitivity stability and the
detectable concentration range. This has resulted in the barrier discharge
ionization detector (BID), a new detector capable of the high-sensitivity
detection of both organic and inorganic compounds, while providing excellent
durability.

"The Tracera is a ground-breaking new system that combines this new type of
detector, offering features not provided by conventional detectors, with the
Shimadzu GC-2010 Plus high-performance capillary gas chromatograph," Said
Masahito Ueda, General Manager of GC & TA Business Unit, Analytical &
Measuring Instruments Division. "It is expected to improve the efficiency of
high-sensitivity, trace-quantity analyses, and to reduce equipment and
analysis costs."

[Main Features of This System]

1. High Sensitivity—Achieves detection sensitivity over 100 times that of TCD,
and over twice that of FID

The built-in barrier discharge ionization detector (BID) generates helium
plasma. The extremely high photon energy of this plasma ionizes the sample
components, enabling high-sensitivity detection. This system achieves at least
100 times the sensitivity of a conventional TCD, and at least twice the
sensitivity of FID, enabling the detection of all types of trace components at
the 0.1ppm level.

2. Universal Detector—Capable of detecting both organic and inorganic
compounds with no difference in sensitivity

The new BID helium plasma has an extremely high energy. It can detect all
organic and inorganic compounds, with the exception of He and Ne, with no
difference in sensitivity. It improves analysis sensitivity even with
aldehydes, alcohols, and halides, for which sensitivity decreases with FID. A
single Tracera system can perform analyses that conventionally required
complicated systems equipped with multiple detectors and units. Examples
include the analysis of hydrogen and organic compounds such as formic acid,
generated as part of the reaction process during artificial photosynthesis,
and the analysis of low concentration hydrocarbons and permanent gases
generated in lithium ion rechargeable batteries.

3. Long-Term Stability—Adopts electrode-preserving plasma generation
technology

With the new BID, the plasma is generated inside a quartz tube, so it makes no
contact with the discharge electrode used for plasma generation. As a result,
the detector electrode is not degraded, achieving long-term analytical
stability.

Note: "Tracera" is a compound word consisting of "trace" and "era."
For more details, visit http://www.shimadzu.com/an/gc/tracera/index.html

About Shimadzu Corporation

Founded in 1875, Shimadzu Corporation, a leader in the development of advanced
technologies, has a distinguished history of innovation built on the
foundation of contributing to society through science and technology. Shimadzu
maintains a global network of sales, service, technical support and
applications centers on six continents, and has established long-term
relationships with a host of highly trained distributors located in over 100
countries.

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Contact:

Shimadzu Corporation
Tetsuya Tanigaki, +81-75-823-1110
Public Relations Department
tanigaki@shimadzu.co.jp