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Griffin 450 GC/MS Evaluation - Technology Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2007
9 pages

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) conducted a 6-week evaluation of the Griffin 450 all-in-one field portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GC-MS), in order to determine whether this chemical analyzer is suitable for use in the analysis and identification of forensically relevant chemical compounds (illegal drugs, ignitable liquids, and explosives).


The evaluation determined that "the instrument performed adequately for the analysis and identification of drugs, ignitable liquids, and explosives." The Griffin 450 GC-MS can perform real-time "snapshot" analysis of unknown spectra, allowing the identification of the unknown compound through direct library spectral comparison. The Griffin system software incorporates AMDI, NIST, and/or a user defined compound library, which makes accessible an extensive searchable spectral database of compounds. The Griffin 450 is rugged, can function in limited workspace, and powers up to sample injection in approximately 30 minutes. It compares well with typical GC-MS systems, which require longer pump-down times to remove residual air and water before sample injection can occur. The instrument's rugged construction makes it suitable for use under conditions that most ordinary benchtop GC-MS instrumentation would not be able to handle. The Griffin 450 has a limited mass scan range of 40 to 425 m/z for small organic molecule identification. For forensic application, it should be capable of reaching an upper mass range of at least 650 m/z. The maximum injector temperature is 250 degrees C, which limits its ability to vaporize compounds of higher molecular weight and/or lower volatility. Although designed to be portable, the 85-pound instrument requires handling by a two-member team. The evaluation offers suggestions for improving the instrument, training requirements, and procedures for ensuring the health and safety of operators. 4 figures, 1 table, and photos of the instrument

Date Published: October 1, 2007