September 18, 2019 | News & Notices New Technique to Acquire Molecular Weight Information for Unknown Compounds.
Shimadzu’s SMCI System Enables Structural Analysis with GC/MS.

Shimadzu Corporation announces the release of SMCI system utilizing Shimadzu’s gas chromatography mass spectrometers (GC/MS). For structural analysis of compounds, molecular weight is essential information. Usually, GC/MS coupled with chemical ionization (CI) is used to obtain molecular weight information. However, CI requires the use of flammable gas. Shimadzu new ionization technology, SMCI (Solvent Mediated Chemical Ionization), enables to obtain molecular weight information using reasonable and easy handling organic solvent instead of flammable gas. Therefore, SMCI enhances not only laboratory’s safety but also lowers CI running cost. In addition, SMCI makes it possible to generate fatty acids structural information.

This new technology, SMCI, was developed by the SSI Innovation Center a part of SHIMADZU SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, INC. In addition, they collaborate with Prof. J. Thomas Brenna in the University of Texas at Austin to develop “the new structure confirmation workflow of unsaturated fatty acid using SMCI”. Analysis of unsaturated fatty acids is highly demanded in R&D and QA sections within food and chemical companies because unsaturated fatty acids in functional fats and oils may be composed of trans and low abundance polyunsaturated fatty acids of unusual structure.

The system is comprised of Shimadzu GCMS NX series and SMCI unit. This optional technologies will also be available for pre-exsisting GCMS NX series.


1. Providing Various Compoud Information

SMCI is able to generate not only molecular weight information which can be obtained by standard CI analysis, but also double bond position assignment in unsaturated fatty acids. It’s useful for R&D and QA sections in food and chemical companies.

2. Low Running Cost

Instead of flammable gas, the use of reasonable priced solvent and gas, methanol/acetonitrile and nitrogen/argon, lowers CI analytical cost by 80%※2.

※2 that of conventional normal CI analysis using isobutane or methane gas.

3. Easy and Safe CI Analysis

Usually, CI require to use a compressed flammable gas cylinder, such as isobutane, methane and anmmonia. On the other hand, SMCI enables to obtain molecular weight information using a common solvent (methanol or acetonitrile). Even in a laboratory where it is not allowed to place a flammable gas cylinder, you will be able to perform CI analysis and enhance the laboratory’s safe and capability.