TD-GC-MS analysis

Thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) is a combined sampling and analysis technique for separating and characterizing volatile and semi-volatile components, even when they are present in the sample in trace amounts.

Gas chromatography column
...and more than 700 other happy clients
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Personal service from method experts
  • Competitive prices
  • Result accuracy guarantee

What is TD-GC-MS used for?

TD-GC-MS is a versatile technique that finds applications in multiple industries and research areas. Popular applications include: 

How does thermal desorption work?

Thermal desorption works by heating the sample to a point where the volatile and semi-volatile components it contains are vaporized. These components are channeled to an absorbent trap, which collects and concentrates them. The adsorbent trap is then heated, causing the volatiles to be released and passing them through a GC-MS system where they are separated and analyzed.

Sample requirements and preparation

TD-GC-MS can be performed on samples of all phases, as long as they contain suitable volatile target components. Attention has to be paid to optimizing the sorbent selection, as this directly impacts the range and accuracy of compound detection and quantification.

Advantages and limitations of thermal desorption in GC-MS analysis

Thermal desorption is a valuable tool for selectively removing and concentrating compounds, offering enhanced sensitivity and enabling the detection of trace-level contaminants. The extent of sample preparation is also reduced when compared with solvent extraction, and the user is not exposed to toxic solvents.

The key limitation of TD is that different types of adsorbent traps will have a different propensity to capture different volatile compounds. Selecting the optimal sorbent may require prior knowledge of the target analytes or additional testing if the composition is unknown, introducing an element of trial-and-error when dealing with complex or unfamiliar samples.

Suitable sample matrices

  • Paints, pigments, and adhesives
  • Construction materials
  • Toys and other consumer products
  • Food and beverages
  • Water and soil
  • Semiconductor wafers

Ideal uses of TD-GC-MS

  • Identifying unknown volatile compounds
  • VOC emission analysis
  • Environmental studies
  • Air pollution monitoring

Ask for an offer

Fill in the form, and we'll reply in one business day.

Answering the following questions helps us prepare an offer for you faster:

  • How many samples do you have and what is the sample material?
  • Do you have a recurring need for these tests? If yes, how often and for how many samples at a time?

Have questions or need help? Email us at or call +358 50 336 6128.

Frequently asked questions

What is Measurlabs?

Measurlabs offers a variety of laboratory analyses for product developers and quality managers. We perform some of the analyses in our own lab, but mostly we outsource them to carefully selected partner laboratories. This way we can send each sample to the lab that is best suited for the purpose, and offer high-quality analyses with more than a thousand different methods to our clients.

How does the service work?

When you contact us through our contact form or by email, one of our specialists will take ownership of your case and answer your query. You get an offer with all the necessary details about the analysis, and can send your samples to the indicated address. We will then take care of sending your samples to the correct laboratories and write a clear report on the results for you.

How do I send my samples?

Samples are usually delivered to our laboratory via courier. Contact us for further details before sending samples.