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Agilent Technologies Introduces Most Sensitive Time-of-Flight LC/MS Ever


Agilent Also Releases a 1,600-Pesticide Accurate Mass Database to Help Food Safety and Environmental Scientists Screen Pesticides at Better than 10 Ppb Levels

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the Agilent 6230 Accurate-Mass time-of-flight (TOF) liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer (LC/MS) system. This new instrument can detect and identify compounds in amounts smaller than two trillionths of a gram (2 picograms), making the Agilent 6230 a powerful tool for food safety, toxicology and other measurements where minute amounts of compounds must be identified.

Complementing this unrivaled sensitivity and mass accuracy, Agilent has also compiled an extensive pesticide accurate-mass database, enabling users to rapidly identify pesticides in food and environmental samples with a high degree of confidence.

“Food-safety scientists have always voiced strong interest in TOF technology for screening food samples, but needed more sensitivity to consistently detect analytes at 10 parts per billion (ppb) or less concentration levels,” said Ken Imatani, Agilent product manager. “We have improved our detection levels to see analytes now at 1 ppb and even some down to 0.1 ppb concentration levels, which marks a real breakthrough for TOF detection technology. This, and our new, comprehensive accurate mass pesticide database, lets customers identify pesticides very quickly and with great confidence.”

The new Agilent pesticide database contains accurate mass information for more than 1,600 compounds, including links to structural data found in PubChem, ChemSpider and other chemical databases. The database also accommodates the addition of LC retention times which, combined with accurate mass results, provides a significantly increased confidence in confirming compound identity.

“Accurate mass analysis using time-of-flight is extremely valuable for environmental analysis, and the new Agilent TOF 6230 is robust, with high resolution and accuracy,” said Michael Thurman, Ph.D., Center for Environmental Mass Spectrometry, University of Colorado. “The latest improvements in sensitivity will make this instrument an excellent choice for pesticide and pharmaceutical analysis.”

More Databases to Follow

The pesticide database is the first of several planned accurate mass databases to complement the performance of Agilent Accurate Mass TOF and Q-TOF LC/MS instruments. The company also plans to offer compound databases for toxicology and drugs of abuse.

The Agilent 6230 Accurate Mass TOF LC/MS delivers sub-1-ppm mass accuracy, which rivals or exceeds that of much more expensive FTMS and orbital trapping instruments. Mass resolution is also enhanced with up to 20,000 resolving power at fastest spectral acquisition rates and up to 20 mass spectra per second, accommodating the latest high-throughput rapid-resolution liquid chromatography platforms.

Agilent Jet Stream thermal-gradient-focusing technology delivers on-column sensitivity gains of five times or more compared with previous instruments. The proprietary design uses a sheath of super-heated nitrogen so that more ions and fewer solvent droplets enter the mass analyzer. The result is stronger signal and less noise than conventional designs for far greater sensitivity.

The Agilent 6230 Accurate Mass TOF uses Agilent MassHunter Workstation software with advanced data acquisition and qualitative and quantitative data-analysis capabilities. These include unique data mining functionality based on powerful molecular feature extraction and molecular formula generation algorithms, facilitating identification of compounds in complex mixtures.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at


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