• Santiago Codesido
  • Serge Rudaz
  • Jean-Luc Veuthey
  • Davy Guillarme
  • Gert Desmet
  • Szabolcs Fekete

In this paper, the benefits of using columns packed with particles of decreasing size (particle size gradient) in liquid chromatography was investigated from a theoretical point of view. It is indeed well known that such columns may be useful in gradient elution, since the decrease of particle size along the chromatographic column can provide extra peak focusing effect. In the present contribution, several parameters (i.e., mobile phase gradient steepness, retention times and operating pressures) were considered and the kinetic performance of various types of columns packed with particle size gradient were evaluated. In the best case, about 15–20% gain in efficiency can be expected at a given retention time when utilizing a particle size gradient, compared to constant particle size. Conversely, when fixing efficiency, the analysis time can be decreased by about 15% with an optimal particle size gradient. However, it is also important to keep in mind that a too large a particle size gradient can result in lower efficiencies than a column packed with monodisperse packing. We have introduced the g d value, which is a dimensionless measure of the particle size gradient steepness that measures the relative variation of particle diameter throughout the column with respect to the average. We finally observed that g d=0.3-0.4 provides the highest gain under practically useful conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-215
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • Particle size gradient, Apparent efficiency, Plate number, Gradient elution mode, Analysis time

ID: 48665329