Half a Century of Chromatography with Agilent and Predecessors

One Century of Chromatography with Twsett (1903)

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Tswett originated the chromatography with his work about the separation of chlorophyll in 1903. For some time it was relatively quite around this new technology. Exceptions were the workings of Kuhn and Lederer (1931) as well as of Hesse (1936 and 1942). A break through succeeded to E. Cremer during the 40ies, but hardly considered caused by the war events, what however in the years 1950/51 by the conception of the gas chromatography suddenly changed and involved a rapid development.

Already in 1959 Agilent appeared by its predecessors with chromatographic devices.

E. Bennett, A. Martin and F. Martinez founded the company F+M Scientific Corporation, developed and produced the first temperature programmable gas chromatograph. In 1965 Hewlett-Packard (HP) took over F+M to extend its test + measurement expertise also for the area of the chemical analysis. In 1970 the Scientific Instruments Division was created within HP, in order to develop new technologies for mass spectrometry. Hewlett-Packard started with the liquid chromatography already in 1973 by the acquisition of the German HPLC producer Hupe&Busch, within the area of elemental analysis (ICP-MS) HP engages itself by the Japanese joint venture company Yokogawa Analytical Systems since 1992. In 1999 a very important progression was the spin-off of all test and measurement sections from HP to the new, world-wide acting company Agilent Technologies, also with the very much dominating Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis Group(LSCA).

HPGC/MS-System Hewlett-Packard Series 5980 (early 70s)

Some of the milestones of F+M/HP/Hupe&Busch/Agilent activities were the first integrator 3390 (1968), the first automatic liquid sampler 7670 for GC (1969), the first microprocessor-controlled GC 5830 (1974), the first desktop MS system 5990 (1976), the first microprocessor controlled LC 1084 (1976), the revolutionary development of the Fused Silica capillary column (1979), the first photodiode array spectrophotometer 8450 (1979), the first mass selective detector 5970 for GC (1982), the first Atomic Emission Detector AED 5931 for the GC (1989), the capillary electrophoresis system G1600A (1992), the HPLC industry standard HP 1100 (1995), one of the first gene array scanner (1997), the first lab-on-a-chip Bioanalyzer 2100 (1999), the acquisition of J&W Scientific (2000) as one of the largest and most important manufacturer of GC columns, Agilent 1100 LC-MSD as Quadrupole and high performance Trap (2000) as well as a new LC-MSD TOF (2003).

In comparison to the 50ies and 60ies the development today runs in smaller steps. Above all the general trends in analytics are reflected by faster, smaller, more sensitive, and also lower in price and more robust, also in the modern instrument techniques.

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