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Revisiting shape selectivity in liquid chromatography for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – six-ring and seven-ring Cata-condensed PAH isomers of molecular mass 328 Da and 378 Da

Oña-Ruales, JorgeO., Sander, LaneC., Wilson, WalterB., Wise, StephenA.
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2018 v.410 no.3 pp. 885-896
isomers, molecular weight, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, reversed-phase liquid chromatography
The relationship of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) retention on a polymeric C₁₈ stationary phase and the shape of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was investigated for three-ring to seven-ring cata-condensed isomers. We report the first RPLC separation for six-ring and seven-ring cata-condensed PAH isomers. Correlations of LC retention and shape parameters (length-to-breath ratio, L/B and thickness, T) were investigated for 2 three-ring isomers (molecular mass 178 Da), 5 four-ring isomers (molecular mass 228 Da), 11 five-ring isomers (molecular mass 278 Da), 17 six-ring isomers (molecular mass 328 Da), and 20 seven-ring isomers (molecular mass 378 Da). Significant linear correlations were found for all isomer groups (r = 0.71 to 0.94). Nonplanarity of the PAH isomers was found to influence retention (i.e., nonplanar isomers eluting earlier than expected based on L/B) and linear correlations of retention vs. T for isomer groups containing nonplanar isomers were significant (r = 0.71 to 0.86). Graphical abstract