carrier gas

https://doi.org/10.1351/goldbook.C00863
A gas introduced in order to transport a sample for analytical purposes. In gas chromatography it is the gas which is passed continuously through the column and whose passage promotes the elution of the components of the sample. The carrier gas together with the portions of the sample present in this phase constitutes the mobile phase.
Sources:
Orange Book, 2nd ed., p. 97 (http://media.iupac.org/publications/analytical_compendium/)
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. 'Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)' on page 2178 (https://doi.org/10.1351/pac199062112167)