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Preparation and evaluation of a molybdenum disulfide quantum dots embedded C18 mixed-mode chromatographic stationary phase

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Molybdenum disulfide quantum dots (MoS2 QDs) were chosen as a functional two-dimensional material to improve the separation performance of a traditional C18 column. In this work, MoS2 QDs were synthesized by the combination of sonication and solvothermal treatment of bulk MoS2. The prepared MoS2 QDs were characterized by transmission electron microscope (TEM), Zeta potential measurement, UV-visible absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. Then, a novel MoS2 QDs embedded C18 (Sil-MoS2-C18) stationary phase was prepared for performing mixed-mode liquid chromatography. The results of elemental analysis (EA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) measurements indicated the stationary phase was prepared successfully. Five types of compounds including alkylbenzenes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nucleosides and nucleobases, anilines and flavonoids were utilized to evaluate reversed phase, weak cation exchange and hydrophilic interaction of the new column. To a certain extent, the column could achieve separation for different properties of samples on one column, with less organic solvent and shorter time than conventional alkyl and amino columns. Furthermore, the mechanism for separation was studied by investigating effects of mobile phase composition and pH on retentions. In summary, the Sil-MoS2-C18 stationary phase was deemed able to serve the performance of various types of phases, which revealed the prepared mixed-mode column could be potentially applied for the analysis of complex samples.

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This work was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NO. 21804112), the Project of Department of Education of Sichuan Province (NO. 18ZA0527), the talent introduction program of Southwest Medical University (NO. 090300040040) and the university level fund of Southwest Medical University (NO. 2017-ZRQN-0118).

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Correspondence to Lujun Wang.

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Luo, Q., Ren, X., Wei, S. et al. Preparation and evaluation of a molybdenum disulfide quantum dots embedded C18 mixed-mode chromatographic stationary phase. Anal Bioanal Chem 412, 1365–1374 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-02363-3

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  • MoS2 quantum dots
  • Mixed-mode chromatography
  • Reversed phase/hydrophilic/ion exchange
  • Stationary phase