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A comparison of overload behaviour for some sub 2μm totally porous and sub 3μm shell particle columns with ionised solutes

Fallas, Morgane M., Buckenmaier, Stephan M.C., McCalley, David V.
Journal of chromatography 2012 v.1235 pp. 49-59
chromatography, formic acid, ion exchange, ionic strength, ionization, mass spectrometry, pH, solutes
The overloading performance of some 2.7μm shell and sub 2μm totally porous columns, including one pair manufactured from similar materials with similar bonding chemistries, was compared using strongly acidic and basic probe compounds. In general, the capacity of shell particles was not greatly reduced, despite containing a smaller porous volume. Nevertheless, at low pH, both types of column were overloaded by only small concentrations of ionised solute. Considerable improvement could be gained by increasing the buffer concentration, although sensitivity in mass spectrometric detection may be compromised. The capacity of columns of different internal diameter may not be directly compared merely by scaling the injection volumes, as it is possible that the sample is not homogeneously distributed across the column radius, especially in larger diameter columns, where the sample may travel preferentially through a central core of the packing. A totally porous charged surface hybrid phase gave much improved loading properties of the basic probe in low ionic strength mobile phases such as formic acid, often used in mass spectrometry. However, its relative advantage over conventional phases was reduced as the mobile phase ionic strength was increased. Furthermore, acidic compounds may give tailing on this phase. At pH 7, all columns tested showed evidence of interaction with ionised silanols; peak shapes improved as the buffer concentration was increased. Column efficiency first increased and then decreased as solute concentration was increased at constant buffer concentration, which can be attributed to the decreasing proportion of solute molecules retained by the ion exchange process.