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Identification Grading System

Bring the Power of Accurate Mass and Confidence to your Identification Problems

LECO's Identification Grading System™ (IGS™) eases data review by allowing users to quickly see, justify, have confidence in, and report on which chemicals are in a particular sample. This in turn allows a user to make confident decisions on what to do next.

Start Knowing What is in Your Sample


The IGS uses all the available chemical information generated from the Pegasus GC-HRT+ 4D to add confidence to your unknown unknown identification process.

The IGS gives a grade to a particular identification based on 4 criteria:

  1. Presence and accurate mass of a molecular ion
  2. Presence and good correlation of a spectral similarity score from a curated library
  3. Accurate masses of sensible potential formulae of fragmented ions corresponding to a spectral library hit
  4. Matching retention index from the library hit

The higher the value of the grade, the more confident you can be in your identification.

Theory of Operation

The true power of identification can only be realized with the combined power of GCxGC and high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS).

  • GCxGC separates coeluting species and gives cleaner mass spectra than other techniques.
  • TOFMS enables unskewed mass spectra across a chromatographic peak even across very narrow second dimensional peak; which, when combined with deconvolution, yields the highest quality spectra that you can generate.

Born out of the EPA’s Non-Targeted Analysis Collaborative Trial (ENTACT), the IGS is LECO’s solution to the time-intensive process of data review.

Read more about LECO's performance on the EPA's ENTACT challenge sample.

Reprinted with the kind permission of International Labmate Ltd - first printed in "Chromatography Today" February/March 2018, Volume 1 Issue 1

Take for example the unfiltered deconvolution results from a GCxGC-TOFMS analysis of a sample from the EPA's ENTACT project (below, left). By applying the IGS filter, we can quickly view only the most confident indentifications. This simplification is dramatic and enables you to immediately begin investigating the "unknown unknowns," as indicated by the arrows in the diagram image on the right.

ChromaTOF IGS Sample Example

Left: Initial HRD (n=4800). Right: IGS > 2 (n=245)

Of the known compounds entered into the sample from this particular example (which was provided to LECO as a blind sample), IGS identified approximately 80% of the known peaks. The combination of GCxGC and high resolution TOF was proven to be necessary for this confidence. Read "Identifying Small Molecules via High Resolution Mass Spectrometry" for more information.


Read more about how LECO utilized the Indentification Grading System in the EPA ENTACT Study:

Comprehensive, Non-Target Characterisation of Blinded Environmental Exposome Standards Using GCxGC and High Resolution Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry


Current ChromaTOF user?

View helpful resources to use and learn the robust GCxGC software.

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