Correction of H3+ contributions in hydrogen isotope ratio monitoring mass spectrometry

TitleCorrection of H3+ contributions in hydrogen isotope ratio monitoring mass spectrometry
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsSessions, AL, Burgoyne, TW, Hayes, JM
JournalAnal Chem
Date PublishedJan 15
ISBN Number0003-2700 (Print)0003-2700 (Linking)

Two fundamentally different approaches, termed "pointwise" and "peakwise," are currently used to correct hydrogen isotope ratio monitoring data for the presence of H3+ ion contributions. Consideration of the underlying assumptions shows that the peakwise approach is valid only for peaks with the same functional shape and only when background signals do not vary. The pointwise correction is much more versatile and can be used even when peak shapes and sizes, as well as background signals, vary significantly. It is not exact and is limited in accuracy by (1) the signal-broadening effects of electronic time constants, (2) the analog-to-digital conversion frequency, and (3) the highest frequency of the sample signal. To minimize errors for typical gas chromatographic signals, time constants of <500 ms and analog-to-digital sampling intervals of < or =250 ms are needed. Errors are further minimized by matching sample and standard peaks in both amplitude and D/H ratio. Using the pointwise algorithm, we demonstrate that a series of 14 homologous n-alkanes varying in concentration over a 5-fold range can be analyzed with a mean precision of 2.3 per thousand and no systematic errors.