Main content area

Recent developments in supercritical fluid chromatography – mass spectrometry: Is it a viable option for analysis of complex samples?

Pilařová, Veronika, Plachká, Kateřina, Khalikova, Maria A., Svec, Frantisek, Nováková, Lucie
Trends in analytical chemistry 2019 v.112 pp. 212-225
carbon dioxide, instrumentation, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, mixing, molecular weight, solvents, supercritical fluid chromatography
Supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) is known since the early 1960's and it has gone through several ups and downs during the past 50 years. The most remarkable rebirth came at the beginning of the millennium, when SFC gained its popularity in many laboratories due to the significant improvements in instrumentation resulting in high reliability and robustness. New developments in SFC column chemistries and possibility of mixing CO2 with organic solvents allowed the analysis of various compounds differing in polarities, acid-base properties, and molecular weight. Hyphenation of advanced SFC platforms with mass spectrometry (MS) provides benefits similar to liquid chromatography (LC) hyphenated with MS, i.e. sensitivity and selectivity. SFC is complementary to the most widely used reversed phase LC due to the similar polarity profile to normal phase LC. This orthogonality and different separation mechanism can effectively solve the presence of matrix effects or challenging separations. In addition, SFC can be beneficial in analysis of chiral or unstable compounds difficult to analyze in LC or GC. Current SFC-MS is mostly used as a fast and green approach in a variety of research fields including bioanalysis, omics sciences, plant, food, and environmental analyses.