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Quantitative Theory of Electroosmotic Flow in Fused-Silica Capillaries Using an Extended Site-Dissociation−Site-Binding Model

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journal contribution
posted on 15.03.2006, 00:00 by Marilyn X. Zhou, Joe P. Foley
To optimize separations in capillary electrophoresis, it is important to control the electroosmotic mobility of the running buffer and the factors that affect it. Through the application of a site-dissociation−site-binding model, we demonstrated that the electroosmotic mobility could be controlled qualitatively and quantitatively by the parameters related to the physical and chemical properties of the running buffer:  pH, cation valence, ionic strength, viscosity, activity, and dissociation constant. Our study illustrated that the logarithm of the number of apparent silanol sites on a fused-silica surface has a linear relationship with the pH of a buffer solution. The extension of the chemical kinetics approach allowed us to obtain the thickness of the electrical double layer when multivalent inorganic cations are present with monovalent cations in a buffer solution, and we found that the thickness of the electrical double layer does not depend on the charge of anions. The general equation to predict the electroosmotic mobility suggested here also indicates the increase of electroosmotic mobility with temperature. The general equation was experimentally verified by three buffer scenarios:  (i) buffers containing only monovalent cations; (ii) buffers containing multivalent inorganic cations; and (iii) buffers containing cations and neutral additives. The general equation can explain the experimental observations of (i) a maximum electroosmotic mobility for the first scenario as the pH was varied at constant ionic strength and (ii) the inversion and maximum value of the electroosmotic mobility for the second scenario when the concentration of divalent cations was varied at constant pH. A good agreement between theory and experiment was obtained for each scenario.