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UTARI Seminar: Dr. Kevin Shug

New Vacuum Ultraviolet Spectroscopy Detector for Analysis of Volatile and Semivolatile Organic Compounds

Join us for lunch Tuesday, April 28 from 12-1 p.m. as Dr. Kevin Schug presents during this month's UTARI seminar. 


The detection and determination of volatile and semivolatile organic chemicals in solids, liquids, and gases is generally carried out using gas chromatography instrumentation.  Performed separations are detected by a variety of means, the mass spectrometer (GC-MS) being the most commonly used when high sensitivity and specificity is necessary.  However, GC-MS has some drawbacks.  Isomeric and isobaric, as well as highly labile compounds have proven problematic.  From a hardware perspective, mass spectrometers require a great deal of power and cumbersome vacuum systems.  As a viable alternative, our group has been working with Austin-based VUV Analytics, Inc. to develop a new vacuum ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy detector for gas chromatography (GC-VUV).  The benchtop detector is a one of a kind, and allows measurements previously relegated to synchrotron facilities.  The GC-VUV detector successfully addresses many of the problems faced by GC-MS.  Because GC-VUV measures absorption from 115- 240 nm, where virtually all chemical compounds absorb light, it is a universal detector.  It also offers highly sensitive means for selective quantitative analysis, even if compounds in a mixture are not well-separated.  To date, it has been applied for analysis of petrochemicals, pesticides, gases, fatty acids, and drugs. Given the simplified and information rich nature of GC-VUV relative to GC-MS, it could be a much more viable platform for field-portable detection systems.

About Dr. Schug: 

Kevin A. Schug is Associate Professor and Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).  He is also Shimadzu Science Advisor to the Vice President for Research at UTA and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Schug received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1998 from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2002 under the supervision of Prof. Harold M. McNair.  From 2003-2005, he performed post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lindner at the University of Vienna in Austria. Since joining UTA in 2005, his research has been focused on the theory and application of separation science and mass spectrometry for solving a variety of analytical and physical chemistry problems.