Monolithic poly(ethylhexyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) column with restricted access layers prepared via reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization



The “living”/controlled radical polymerization has provided an opportunity in making a more homogeneous polymer, which is favorable for polymer-based monolithic column fabrication. To study its application in the preparation of separation material, a capillary poly(ethylhexyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate) monolithic column has been synthesized by reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The correlation between the synthetic conditions and the polymer structures and separation performance was studied. The result indicated RAFT-mediated reaction provides condition for creating polymers with narrower pore size distribution and higher column efficiency compared with traditional polymerization. The “living” property of the RAFT polymerization was further utilized to graft hydrophilic polymer on the surface of poly(ethylhexyl methacrylate-co-ethylene dimethacrylate). The hydrophilic chain modified monolithic column has both abilities of protein exclusion and small hydrophobic compound retention. The result indicated that RAFT polymerization can be used for making multifunctional material. The restricted access monolithic material synthesized by this method can be used in biological sample analysis with HPLC direct injection.