Electron capture detector with non-radioactive electron source
Gas chromatographs equipped with electron capture detectors (ECD) are widely used for the analysis of electron affine substances such as pesticides, herbicides or chlorofluorocarbons. Achieving limits of detection in the low pptv-range, electron capture detectors are the most sensitive detectors available for such compounds. Based on their operating principle, they require free electrons at atmospheric pressure, which are usually generated by using a β--decay. However, the use of radioactive materials leads to regulatory restrictions regarding purchase, operation and disposal. Therefore, we developed a new electron capture detector using our non-radioactive electron source, which is not subject to these limitations and offers further advantages such as adjustable and higher electron densities and energies.