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An Open Tubular Ion Chromatograph

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journal contribution
posted on 02.12.2014, 00:00 by Bingcheng Yang, Min Zhang, Tinakorn Kanyanee, Brian N. Stamos, Purnendu K. Dasgupta
We describe an open tubular ion chromatograph (OTIC) that uses anion exchange latex coated 5 μm radius silica and 9.8 μm radius poly­(methyl methacrylate) tubes and automated time/pressure based hydrodynamic injection for pL–nL scale injections. It is routinely possible to generate 50 000 plates or more (up to 150 000 plates/m, columns between 0.3 and 0.8 m have been used), and as such, fast separations are possible, comparable to or in some cases better than the current practice of IC. With an optimized admittance detector, nonsuppressed detection permits LODs of submicromolar to double digit micromolar for a variety of analytes. However, large volume injections are possible and can significantly improve on this. A variety of eluents, the use of organic modifiers, and variations of eluent pH can be used to tailor a given separation. The approach is discussed in the context of extraterrestrial exploration, especially Mars, where the existence of large amounts of perchlorate in the soil needs to be confirmed. These columns can survive drying and freezing, and small footprint, low power consumption, and simplicity make OTIC a good candidate for such a mission.