The present contribution aims at illustrating and demonstrating how micro-machining technology can give a boost to Liquid Chromatography (LC). Currently, LC is routinely used in nearly every chemical analysis lab. Despite its high degree of maturity, the technique however suffers from serious performance limitations when faced to the complex samples that need to be separated to solve the current state-of-the-art problems in the biological and pharmaceutical research (e.g., proteomics and metabolomics), the food and environmental analysis, etc.

Currently, LC is conducted in packed particle columns. As this packing inevitably is disordered, the flow pattern in these columns is to a large extent disordered as well, in turn leading to an unnecessary loss in separation efficiency. To solve this packing disorder problem, the present contribution focuses on the possibilities of advanced photolithographic etching techniques such as the Bosch-process to produce perfectly ordered porous support columns with optimized hydrodynamic shape and optimized external porosity.

The work presented here in fact aims at putting to work an original idea of Fred Regnier wherein he advocated the use of micromachining to produce perfectly ordered chromatographic supports. Since then, the technological possibilities have clearly evolved and it is now possible to fabricate pillar array columns with a very tight (i.e., sub-micron) control of the pillar to pillar distances and the pillar dimensions.

At the conference, we will demonstrate the possibility of rapid multi-component separations and the possibility to achieve very low plate heights with a microfabricated column in pressure-driven LC.

The possibility to combine the pillar array technology with the recipes used to produce monolithic columns, leading up to a brand new class of column technologies, will be highlighted as well.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPresentation at the Pittcon 2015 conference
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2015
EventPittcon conference & expo 2015 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 201512 Mar 2015


ConferencePittcon conference & expo 2015
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans

    Research areas

  • Liquid chromatography

ID: 5101633