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HPIC joins the HPLC, UHPLC family of Instruments: the first commercially available integrated capillary high pressure ion chromatography system with three separate detection systems is now available for enhanced capabilities.

Among their other analytical instrument introductions at the recent Pittcon 2012 Conference in Orlando, developers introduced the Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-4000, claimed as the world's first commercially available integrated capillary high-pressure ion chromatography (HPIC) system. One of the instrument's main features is the integration of multiple detector options in one instrument. To maximize the compound information obtained in a single sample run, the instrument integrates a conductivity detector (CD), an electrochemical detector (ED) and a new Dionex charge detector (QD).

The capillary IC provides 24/7 uptimes so the instrument is always ready. Its compact integrated design provides convenience for the user and offers detection choices for increased application versatility. It optimizes sample separations for fast throughput, while providing true on-request ion chromatography (IC) analyses for continuous uptimes with no equilibration. While being an integrated device, it also has the performance and adaptability of a modular system.

Multiple detection options

The conductivity detection is a well-known and proven approach that is usable for the majority of IC applications. It supports all ion chromatography applications with a maximum range up to 15,000 uS. Its flow path is optimized for capillary flow rates and it incorporates industry-leading suppressor technologies.

The electrochemical detection is used for applications that include sugars, cyanide and reduced sulfur compounds. It supports DC amperometry, pulsed amperometry or integrated pulsed amperometry detection modes. It also incorporates an innovative palladium hydrogen (PdH) reference electrode for enhanced reproducibility and increased lifetimes.

The QD detector has enhanced sensitivity and linearity for weakly dissociated ions, such as organic acids, amines and silicates, which are not normally detectable by conductivity detectors alone. Analyte response is proportional to ion charge. The analyte current in the QD is measured at a fixed cell voltage and the analyte equivalents are detected. This provides the potential for universal calibration. Users might not know their sample compound's identity, but they will know its concentration.

In combination with suppressed conductivity detection, the Dionex QD offers peak purity information and peak identification. It relies on the suppression step to isolate the analyte from the background ions.

Developed by Dionex researchers in collaboration with researchers in the Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Univ. of Texas, Arlington, the Dionex QD uses a membrane-based technology and detects ions in proportion to their charge and concentration. It produces up to three times greater signal for triply charged ions, such as phosphate, than singly charged ions, such as chloride. Ions with the same charge and concentration yield a similar response, permitting reliable quantification of known and unknown compounds with a single standard. The Dionex QD is well suited to the analysis of phosphates in environmental samples, organic acids in food and beverages and amines in chemicals. The key features of the QD detector include: quantification of unknowns; peak purity information; low investment cost; long consumables lifetime; low maintenance cost; ease-of-use; and a universal response that simplifies calibration. The detector can identify ions in combination with CD and retention time and also fills a gap between CD and mass spectrometry detection.


Specifications for the QD detector include a 1% linearity, digital and analog output signal ranges of 0 to 20 uA and a maximum flow cell pressure of 0.7 MPa (100 psi).

"The Dionex ICS-4000 capillary HPIC system offers new levels of chromatographic speed without compromising resolution, while offering 24/7 uptimes--it's always on," says John Plohetski, VP and GM for IC/SP at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "With multiple detection choices available in an easy-to-use, dedicated system with a small footprint, it's the perfect choice for routine analyses in key industries, such as environmental, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and biopharma."

As noted by Plohetski, the Dionex ICS-4000 is always ready for analysis. It requires no start-up time, no equilibration and minimal calibration. It makes use of Thermo Fisher's Reagent-Free (RFIC) system, which uses deionized water to electrolytically generate high purity eluents. Designed to save time, labor and operating costs, capillary RFIC systems offer 24/7 instrumentation operation, eliminate errors associated with manual eluent preparation and consume remarkably small amounts of water--only 5.25 L/year.

Thermo Fisher Scientific also offers support for the ICS-4000 via the Thermo Scientific Dionex Chromeleon chromatography software that streamlines a laboratory's path from samples to results. The ICS-4000 boasts a single channel, integrated and compact design for dedicated analyses, a touch display for standalone control and an active thermal control system that provides instrumentation stability and reproducibility. While the replacement of cartridges is easily accessible, it is only required about once every 18 months. Additionally, an integrated IC Cube uses the same consumables as its sister ICS-5000 HPIC system, so methods developed on the Dionex ICS-5000 can be easily transferred to the Dionex ICS-4000.

Dionex ICS-5000

The Dionex ICS-5000 HPIC was also introduced at Pittcon 2012. This device is also the first capillary HPIC on the market and provides a combination of increased productivity, expanded capabilities and improved performance. Modular versatility, functional integration, superior performance and the capability to operate continuously at up to 5,000 psi make this the performance IC leader. Its high pressure operation provides fast, high-resolution analyses. Its Reagent-Free system operation provides increased reproducibility and ease-of-use, while its modularity allows users increased adaptability and upgrade capabilities. These combined capabilities brings its performance close to that of state-of-the-art ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC) analytical systems.


The Dionex ICS-5000 also has an IC Cube module similar to that in the Dionex ICS-4000 that integrates all the capillary consumables used in the IC system. With precut, preformed tubing and easy-to-use cartridge-based consumables, the instrument takes usability to a new level. There are two IC Cubes in the Dionex ICS-5000 system, simplifying dual channel analysis in capillary modes. Each of the column temperature zones can be set to a different temperature, so users can perform anion analysis at 30 C and cation analysis in the second channel at 60 C.


For more information, please contact Thermo Fisher Scientific at, or call 781-622-1000.


* The Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-4000 is claimed as the world's first commercially available HPIC system.

* The instrument integrates multiple detector options, including a conductivity, electrochemical and charge detector.

* The QD detector fills the gap between CD and mass spectrometry detection.
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Title Annotation:Feature
Author:Studt, Tim
Publication:Laboratory Equipment
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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