Get Empowered: Review Window and the Processing Method | Tip #136, 3D PDA Data

By August 28, 2019

Tip #136: Working with 3D PDA data in Empower Software (Part 3)

Welcome back to Get Empowered! In the last Empower tip-of-the-week post for Empower Chromatography Data Software, we learned about how MaxPlot can help when determining Peak Purity (Tip #135).

In this week’s tip, we will create a Processing Method for determining Peak Purity. (To understand how the math for Peak Purity works, refer to article: Detecting Coeluted Impurities by Spectral Comparison)

Let’s get started.

Step 1

Begin by deriving a wavelength of interest, create a PDA Processing Method and set up the peak detection/integration parameters as well as any Component parameters. Add this information to your Method Set (figure 1). (Refer to Tip #34 for how to extract a wavelength of interest)

Empower Tips: Set up the peak detection/integration parameters and Component parameters | Figure 1

Figure 1

Step 2

On the Purity tab in the Processing Method there are several critical parameters (figure 2).

  • Spectral Contrast Parameters: The wavelength range should be set to start above the UV cutoff of the mobile phase and end where the components have absorbance. The noise interval should be set as per the discussion in Tip #135.
  • Purity Parameters: Tick the ‘Purity Enabled’ box and set the ‘Active Peak Region %’ (the default is 100). Empower determines Peak Purity from the spectra across a chromatographic peak from peak start
    (or liftoff) to peak end (or touchdown). If the signal to noise is poor or if the peaks are not baseline separated, you may have to lower the value. The Threshold criteria needs to be set to calculate the Purity Threshold and the default is Auto Threshold. (Please go to the Waters Knowledge Base for more detailed information on Threshold Criteria.)
Empower Tips: Critical parameters in the processing Method | Figure 2

Figure 2

Step 3

Apply the Method Set and review the results in the Peaks table under the chromatogram. If the Purity Angle is less than the Purity Threshold, this is one piece of information that indicates the peak is spectrally pure (figure 3).

Empower Tips: View Purity Angle vs the Purity Threshold | Figure 3

Figure 3

Step 4

Before we make a definitive conclusion, it is best to check the Purity Plot. Go to the Results window within Review and click the ‘Purity Plot’ tab at the bottom of the window. If the purity line (green) is below the threshold line (blue) across the peak and the reported Purity Angle is less than the Purity Threshold, then we can conclude the peak is spectrally pure (figure 4).

Empower Tips: Checking the Purity Plot | Figure 4

Figure 4

Step 5

I would recommend zooming on the bottom of the Purity Plot to get a better look at the two lines (figure 5).

Empower Tips: zooming on the bottom of the Purity Plot | Figure 5

Figure 5

Step 6

It is also recommended you check that you selected an appropriate noise interval. Back in the main window of Review, select ‘Spectrum Review, Display Noise Spectrum’. The noise spectrum can be seen underneath the spectra for the other peaks. The noise spectrum should be random in shape. If the noise spectrum has a shape like the spectra for any of your peaks of interest, then you need to go back to MaxPlot and select a different noise interval (figure 6). Otherwise you will have a high threshold and peaks with impurities will pass peak purity.

Empower Tips: Select Spectrum Review, Display Noise Spectrum | Figure 6

Figure 6

It’s that easy!

Final note:  This procedure can be followed using the QuickStart or Pro interface.


Please rate this Empower Tip of the Week

Next week in Empower Tip #137 – Next week we will continue our discussion on calculating peak purity when working with PDA data (Part 4).

JOIN US for an Empower: Ask Me Anything Webinar on September 18, 2019
Neil will answer your questions about Impurity Calculations in Empower Software 
Learn More and Register

More Resources:


Do you want Empower Tips sent to your inbox every week?

Subscribe Now

Questions? Tips of your own? Let us know!


Categories: Empower Tips