How to select chromatography vials

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Getting bad or sporadic chromatography results? It may be your sample vials.

Team TFS
Team TFS

ThermoScientifc SureSTART Vials.jpg

How to select the right sample vials 

Did you know that one of the most common tech support calls at Thermo Fisher is related to sample vials? The problem usually boils down to one of several things—instrument compatibility, a mismatch with sample type, sample shelf life and/or the vial materials themselves. 

If you’re suffering from erratic system performance, reproducibility or results accuracy, you might be using the wrong sample vials.  

Here’s how you can eliminate these risks and find your match: 

  1. Consider your analytical performance. General purpose chromatography (with normal compound levels) requires basic, chromatography-approved vials. But different vials are needed to process low compound levels, high-sensitivity or high-selectivity research applications, or high-throughput applications requiring robust and reproducible results.  

Note: The Thermo Scientific™ SureSTART™ collection of vials, caps, inserts, well plates and mats offers three performance levels to match your specific instrument, detector type and application. Use our handy online guide to find the exact product you need. 

  1. Know your sample volume. If your sample volumes are limited (or vary between runs), you may need a high recovery vial, a total recovery vial or a vial insert (e.g., self-aligning polyspring, pulled insert, or fused insert vial). 
  2. Review your compound polarity. You’ll need glass vials for non-polar and mid-polar compounds. Polar compounds require GOLD-grade glass. And you’ll want silanised glass vials or polypropylene (PP) vials with GOLD-grade glass vials/inserts for highly-polar compounds.  
  3. Evaluate your compound volatility and stability. Are your compounds volatile or non-volatile? Are they light-stable or light-sensitive? Both factors determine which vials you need. 
  4. Know your autosampler type. Autosamplers include different injector needle designs, such as bottom or side draw, and are programmed to have the needle stop before the bottom of the vial to prevent needle damage and vial breakage.  
  5. Understand when to use different vial neck styles. Screw neck vials are a popular choice for LC and GC analysis. SureStop screw neck vials are a convenient and reproducible option (also suitable for LC and GC). Crimp necks are frequently used for GC with highly volatile compounds and solvents. And Snap neck vials are ergonomically convenient when working with a large number of samples. 

Need more help finding the right vial? Find your match using these online resources:  

Currently using a National Scientific, Chromacol or Sun-Sri vials and/or cap? Easily find the new SureSTART part number for your current product using our cross-reference tool 



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Last update:
‎05-26-2022 12:08 PM
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