This Information Applies To: Micro Electron Capture Detector (uECD)
Baking the micro electron capture detector (µECD) at high temperatures can remove sample contaminants that have deposited on the detector surfaces.
Warning: The µECD uses hazardous β- and X-radiation, which is encased in a safe housing. Exposure to radiation can cause injury and harm.
Operators may perform an µECD bake out. Personnel trained and licensed appropriately to handle radioactive materials must perform all other maintenance procedures.
Note the value of the µECD signal output for comparison with value after the bake-out.
If the column maximum temperature is < 250 °C, remove the column from the detector, otherwise, jump to step 4:
Warning: If using hydrogen as a carrier gas, turn off the hydrogen supply and remove the column to prevent an oven explosion.
Set normal detector operating flows. If the column has not been removed from GC inlet, maintain inert carrier gas flow through the column.
Set the temperature zones to the bake out temperatures:
Caution: Do not exceed the column manufacturer's recommended temperature, as it will damage the column. If the bake out temperature exceeds the recommended temperature, remove the column and turn off the inlet gas flows.
Set the detector temperature to 350 to 375 °C and the make up gas flow to 60 mL/min.
If the column is installed in the µECD, set the oven temperature to 250 °C. If the column is uninstalled, leave the oven off.
To bake out the GC inlet see How to Bake-out the Split/Splitless Inlet (S/SL) on Agilent GC Systems.
Hold at bake out temperature for several hours or until the baseline settles at a lower value. The baseline will typically rise, then fall to a final value lower than the initial baseline (Figure 1):
Allow the instrument to cool and reinstall the column if appropriate.
Load the normal analytical method and allow the system to equilibrate.
Check the µECD output value. It should be lower than the first reading. If it is not, contact your local Agilent support
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