Separations using a porous-shell pillar array column on a capillary LC instrument


Correspondence: Dr. Wim De Malsche, Department of Chemical Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium


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We investigated the achievable separation performance of a 9-cm-long and 1-mm-wide pillar array channel (volume = 0.6 μL) containing 5 μm diameter Si pillars (spacing 2.5 μm) cladded with a mesoporous silica layer with a thickness of 300 nm, when this channel is directly interfaced to a capillary LC instrument. The chip has a small footprint of only 4 cm × 4 mm and the channel consists of three lanes that are each 3 cm long and that are interconnected using low dispersion turns consisting of a narrow U-turn (10 μm), proceded and preceded by a diverging flow distributor. Measuring the band broadening within a single lane and comparing it to the total channel band broadening, the additional band broadening of the turns can be estimated to be of the order of 0.5 μm around the minimum of the van Deemter curve, and around some 1 μm (nonretained species) and 2 μm (retained species) in the C-term dominated regime. The overall performance (chip + instrument) was evaluated by conducting gradient elution separations of digests of cytochrome c and bovine serum albumin. Peak capacities up to 150 could be demonstrated, nearly completely independent of the flow rate.