Incorporation of GC/MS into the Undergraduate Analytical Chemistry Curriculum
Chemistry (12)Loyola University of Chicago is integrating three laboratory experiments that are utilizing GC/MS as the principal component into the undergraduate analytical laboratory curriculum. Chemistry majors in the Quantitative Analysis course are using electron capture ionization (ECI) in conjunction with GC/MS to quantify a model aromatic amine, aniline, at the femtogram/picogram level. Undergraduates in the newly-established Environmental Chemistry course are analyzing low levels of chlorinated phenols in watersamples. Students in the Instrumental Analysis laboratory are comparing a GC/MS-based method for the determination of lead to inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry and other analytical methods. The experiments have been adapted and implemented from the research and educational literature and are emphasizing the development of skills associated with handling and extracting small quantities of analyte. Analytical chemistry students are becoming acquainted with the power of GC/MS to detect and quantify very small (femtogram level) amounts of analyte, particularly through the use of electron capture as the ionization technique for GC/MS. Once the students are familiar with the GC/MS, they are applying their knowledge to the analysis of real-world samples, including water from Lake Michigan and paint chips from housing projects in the Chicago area.