Fabrication of Bonded Monolithic Porous Layer Open Tubular (monoPLOT) Columns in Wide Bore Capillary by Laminar Flow Thermal Initiation
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A novel scalable procedure for the thermally initiated polymerisation of bonded monolithic porous layers of controlled thickness within open tubular fused silica capillaries (monoPLOT columns) is presented. Porous polymer layers of either polystyrene-divinylbenzene or butyl methacrylate-ethylene dimethacrylate, of variable thickness and morphology were polymerised inside fused silica capillaries utilising combined thermal initiation and laminar flow of the polymerisation mixture. The procedure enables the production through thermal initiation of monoPLOT columns of varying length, internal diameter, user defined morphology and layer thickness for potential use in both liquid and gas chromatography. The morphology and thickness of the bonded polymer layer on the capillary wall is strongly dependent on the laminar flow properties of the polymerisation mixture and the changing shear stress within the fluid across the inner diameter of the open capillary. Owing to the highly controlled rate of polymerisation and its dependence on fluid shear stress at the capillary wall, the procedure was demonstrably scalable, as illustrated by the polymerisation of identical layers within different capillary diameters.
KeywordsLaminar flow polymerisation Thermally initiated polymerisation monoPLOT columns
The authors would like to acknowledge financial support from Science Foundation Ireland for the Irish Separation Science Cluster award (Grant No. 08/SRC/B1412).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interest.
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