Autosampler - is a piece of equipment that aspirates the sample from a vial and introduces it into a chromatographer or a detector. It has nothing to do with peaks or their identification - that comes later.
After the sample is injected into the detector and the measurements are taken you get back data describing physical properties of the sample. If you inject directly into the detector you can plot it as signal intensity vs. physical property, here's an example of spectra from Mass Spectrometer:
You may need to find peaks on such graph in order I don't know.. to identify how many impurities there are.
But often before introducing the sample directly to the detector chemists would run chromatography - it'd separate different components of the mixture and make them elute at different time. Now we'd measure physical properties not once - but do it at some rate. If we measure (and sum up or average) the signal at different time we may get peaks when the compound is eluted from chromatographer:
Chemists would then have to define the boundaries of the peaks and integrate their area in order to find how many substances there are in the mixture, in some cases calculate how much of each there are. Software can automate some of this work - identify the peak boundaries for you. This may be what your professor is asking for. Or maybe he wants you to write algorithms determining what substance is represented by this or that peak.
Note that this problem is very challenging and not universally solved - finding peaks can be problematic because:
- different chromatograms will have different amount of high-frequency noise
- there could be a baseline drift (low-frequency noise)
- peaks often are skewed
- compounds can elute very closely to each other, so you get merged peaks (rider peaks, shoulders, round peaks)
Due to these reasons you may not always be able to find the peaks reliably e.g.
So for autodetection you may want to go over several algorithms. And the person who uses them may have to understand and tune the parameters for it to work successfully on a particular chromatogram.