Early gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

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Abstract

Spectroscopy Laboratory, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan, USA In December 1955 or thereabouts, the authors coupled a homemade gas chromatograph to a research time-of-flight mass spectrometer constructed by W. C. Wiley, I. H. McLaren, and D. B. Harrington. This unique gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) instrument generated mass spectra at a lo-kHz rate for display on an oscilloscope; eluted gas chromate graphic components, such as methanol, acetone, benzene, toluene, and carbon tetrachloride, could be visually identified immediately from the oscilloscope display. Many years of further research and development in many laboratories worldwide were necessary, however, to make continuous on-line GC/MS the uniquely valuable analytical tool that it is today.