, Volume 369, Issue 3-4, pp 370-377

LC-MS/MS signal suppression effects in the analysis of pesticides in complex environmental matrices

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Abstract

The application of LC separation and mobile phase additives in addressing LC-MS/MS matrix signal suppression effects for the analysis of pesticides in a complex environmental matrix was investigated. It was shown that signal suppression is most significant for analytes eluting early in the LC-MS analysis. Introduction of different buffers (e.g. ammonium formate, ammonium hydroxide, formic acid) into the LC mobile phase was effective in improving signal correlation between the matrix and standard samples. The signal improvement is dependent on buffer concentration as well as LC separation of the matrix components. The application of LC separation alone was not effective in addressing suppression effects when characterizing complex matrix samples. Overloading of the LC column by matrix components was found to significantly contribute to analyte-matrix co-elution and suppression of signal. This signal suppression effect can be efficiently compensated by 2D LC (LC-LC) separation techniques. The effectiveness of buffers and LC separation in improving signal correlation between standard and matrix samples is discussed.

Received: 10 August 2000 / Revised: 7 November 2000 / Accepted: 12 November 2000