The need for novel packing materials in both capillary electrochromatography (CEC) and capillary liquid chromatography (CLC) is apparent and the development towards more selective, application-oriented chromatographic phases is under progress world-wide. In this study we have synthesized new polyethyleneimine (PEI) functionalized Mn2O3, SiO2, SnO2, and ZrO2 particles for the fabrication of packed capillary columns for CEC and CLC. The nanocasting approach was successful for the preparation of functionalized metal oxide materials with a controlled porosity and morphology. PEI functionalization was done using ethyleneimine monomers to create particles which are positively charged in aqueous solution below pH 9. This functionalization allowed the possibility to have both hydrophobic (due to its alkyl chain) and ionic interactions (due to positively charged amino groups) with selected compounds. For comparison aminopropyl-functionalized silica was also synthesized and tested. Both slurry pressure and electrokinetic packing procedures used gave similar results, but fast sedimentation of the material caused some problems during the packing. The high stability and wide pH range of PEI-functionalized SiO2 material, with potential for hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions, proved to be useful for the CEC and CLC separation of some model acidic and neutral compounds.
- Capillary liquid chromatography
- capillary electrochromatography
- metal oxides
- polyethyleneimine functionalized metal oxides
- slurry packing