Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) is a widely used technique for extraction and concentration. Thin Film Microextraction, in short, TFME or Thin Film SPME / TF-SPME, is one type of SPME. It solves the problems of absorption rate and limit of absorption of fibre-SPME.

Features of TF-SPME:

        Suitable for extraction of polar compounds from water-based samples

        Greatly improve the sensitivity by increasing the volume and surface-volume ratio, without sacrificing the time of analysis

        Require less sample volume

        TF-SPME has two structure: brush-type structure suitable for high throughput water samples in HPLC application; net-type structure suitable for samples in GC application


1)     Brush-type structure suitable for high throughput water samples in HPLC application

ü  Coating: common sorbent materials found in SPE, can direct contact with samples

ü  Flat blade shape, have higher surface-volume ratio, work with 96-pos deep well plates, can achieve analysis with high efficiency

ü  Very complicated samples, like analytes in homogeneous animal or plant tissue, will also be absorbed into the sorbent materials

ü  Impurities can be removed from TF by cleaning with water

ü  Sample preparation, extraction, cleaning and desorption can be automated by workstation


2)     Net-type structure suitable for samples in GC application

ü  TF is a sampling device to improve the efficiency and sensitivity of extraction. Mainly used with TDS of GC system

ü  Use for active/onsite sampling. TF contact with gas or liquid in a certain time 

ü  TF can be used to monitor the release of VOCs from sample surface, such as human skin. It is a non-invasive method to monitor physiological responses to diseases or stresses, or to monitor exposure of environmental chemicals.

ü  In passive (integrated or time weighted average, TWA) analysis, longer exposure times and larger films are used. It can be used for monitoring the contaminants in water. Experiments showed that the maximum time for linear adsorption can be from several hours to several days

ü  Extraction method: Direct immersion or headspace (higher sensitivity in general), extract VOCs from solid, liquid and gas samples, better for analysis of trace organic compounds

ü  Similar technique to general SPME, but compared to fibre-SPME, the flat shape and high surface-volume ratio of carbon mesh can provide larger volume for extraction and higher efficiency of absorption.

Benefits of TF-SPME

  • Efficient parallel sample extraction and optimized analysis system utilization
  • Improved work environment due to solvent free extraction
  • Efficient extraction, lower LODs, higher analyte recovery compared with SPME


Application of TF-SPME Suitable for all applications of SPME

Thin-film Solid Phase Microextraction is an innovative, high sensitivity, solvent-free sample preparation technique, mainly used for extraction of VOCs and SVOCs in samples, followed by thermal desorption:

  1. Food Aroma/Flavour/Odour Analysis (Flavour of tea/fruit)
  2. Analysis and researches of VOCs in chemical industries (fragrances, consumables, materials, etc)
  3. Plant (Researches on plant aroma components, plant protection, TCM flavour, volatile oils)
  4. Analysis and research of volatile organic compounds in tobacco (tobacco, packing materials, flavour)
  5. Research of flavour of alcohol
  6. Environmental VOCs (Research topics VOCs in air and water, pesticides in water)


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