Jun 13 – 19, 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

GC-MS to GC-NOMS: A step towards portable analysis

Jun 17, 2015, 7:08 PM
CCIS Ground Floor PCL lounge (University of Alberta)

CCIS Ground Floor PCL lounge

University of Alberta

Poster (Non-Student) / affiche (non-étudiant) Condensed Matter and Materials Physics / Physique de la matière condensée et matériaux (DCMMP-DPMCM) DCMMP Poster Session with beer / Session d'affiches, avec bière DPMCM


Dr Anandram Venkatasubramanian (Post Doctoral research fellow)


The Gas Chromatography (GC) – Mass Spectrometer (MS) system is the industry benchmark in research and chemical analysis. However given that MS systems are large and complicated instrumentation, chemical analyses have a long turnaround time. In this regard, portable GCs have carved a market niche but they have poor sensitivities. Recent demonstrations with Nanooptomechanical (NOMS) resonators at atmospheric pressure have proven that these kind of sensors have the breakthrough potential to improve the sensitivity of portable GCs. In this regard we have built an experimental rig to integrate the GC system with our NOMS device. The goal of this study is two-fold. One will be to replace the GC sensor with NOMS devices, integrate with the portable GCs for better sensitivity, and ultimately match the analytical power of conventional GC-MS. The other will be to demonstrate the NOMS sensing capabilities for next generation genomic applications like personalized medicine. In this regard, we have designed and developed a free space interferometry system. The probe laser is coupled in and out of the photonic waveguide using grating couplers. Using the evanescent field of the waveguide, the shift in resonant frequency of the nanoscale resonators is recorded using lock in amplifier. Here we have tracked the response of both the ring resonators using the photodetector output and the nanomechanical resonator using the phase locked loop (PLL). GC peak sensing can be done with either or both of the mechanical and the photonic sensors. During the initial testing with analyte standards we observed the ring resonator to respond faster than the nanomechanical resonator on par with the GCs flame ionization (FID) detector. We were also able to capture the analyte peaks effectively with the sensitivity of the resonators to be about 77 zg/Hz.

Primary author

Dr Anandram Venkatasubramanian (Post Doctoral research fellow)


Mr Swapan Roy (Graduate Student) Dr Vince Sauer (Graduate Student) Dr Wayne Hiebert (Research Officer)

Presentation materials