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Plistil A.,VICI Valco Instruments | Barnett H.E.,VICI Valco Instruments | Tolley H.D.,Brigham Young University | Stearns S.D.,VICI Valco Instruments
Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2015

In this work, a novel splitless nanoflow gradient generator integrated with a stop-flow injector was developed and evaluated using an on-column UV-absorption detector. The gradient pumping system consisted of two nanoflow pumps controlled by micro stepper motors, a mixer connected to a serpentine tube, and a high-pressure valve. The gradient system weighed only 4 kg (9 lbs) and could generate up to 55 MPa (8000 psi) pressure. The system could operate using a 24 V DC battery and required 1.2 A for operation. The total volume capacity of the pump was 74 μL, and a sample volume of 60 nL could be injected. The system provided accurate nanoflow rates as low as 10 nL/min without employing a splitter, making it ideal for capillary column use. The gradient dwell volume was calculated to be 1.3 μL, which created a delay of approximately 4 min with a typical flow rate of 350 nL/min. Gradient performance was evaluated for gradient step accuracy, and excellent reproducibility was obtained in day-to-day experiments (RSD < 1.2%, n = 4). Linear gradient reproducibility was tested by separating a three-component pesticide mixture on a poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) monolithic column. The retention time reproducibility was very good in run-to-run experiments (RSD < 1.42%, n = 4). Finally, excellent separation of five phenols was demonstrated using the nanoflow gradient system. © 2015 American Chemical Society.


Sharma S.,Brigham Young University | Tolley L.T.,Southern Illinois University Carbondale | Tolley H.D.,Brigham Young University | Plistil A.,VICI Valco Instruments | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2015

Over the last four decades, liquid chromatography (LC) has experienced an evolution to smaller columns and particles, new stationary phases and low flow rate instrumentation. However, the development of person-portable LC has not followed, mainly due to difficulties encountered in miniaturizing pumps and detectors, and in reducing solvent consumption. The recent introduction of small, non-splitting pumping systems and UV-absorption detectors for use with capillary columns has finally provided miniaturized instrumentation suitable for high-performance hand-portable LC. Fully integrated microfabricated LC still remains a significant challenge. Ion chromatography (IC) has been successfully miniaturized and applied for field analysis; however, applications are mostly limited to inorganic and small organic ions. This review covers advancements that make possible more rapid expansion of portable forms of LC and IC. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Sharma S.,Brigham Young University | Plistil A.,VICI Valco Instruments | Simpson R.S.,VICI Valco Instruments | Liu K.,Brigham Young University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2014

Liquid chromatography (LC) has lagged behind gas chromatography (GC) in developments related to hand-portable instrumentation. In this work, a new battery-operated (24V DC) nano-flow pumping system with a stop-flow injector was developed and integrated with an on-column UV-absorption detector (254nm) that was reduced in size to an acceptable weight and power usage for field operation. The pumping system, which includes nano-flow pump, stepper motor and high-pressure valve weighs only 1.372kg (3lbs) and can generate up to 110.32MPa (16,000psi) pressure. A major advantage of this pump is that it does not employ a splitter, since it was specifically designed for capillary column use. The volume capacity of the pump is 24μL, and a sample volume as low as 10nL can be injected. Flow rate calibration (300nL to 6.12μL per min) was performed, and an accuracy >99.94% was obtained. The percent injection carry-over was found to be low (RSD 0.31%), which makes it practical for quantitative analysis. The detector linear range and limit of detection (LOD) were determined using sodium anthraquinone-2-sulfonate. A linear regression coefficient (R) of 0.9996 was obtained for a plot of log peak area versus log concentration over the range of 3.2μM to 6.5mM, and the LOD (S/N=3) was found to be 7.8fmol (0.13μM). The short term noise of the detector is comparable to commercially available detectors (~10-5AU). In this work, the system was tested in the laboratory using regular line power (120V AC) with an AC to DC adapter. Reversed-phase isocratic separations were performed using a 15.5cm×75μm i.d. fused silica capillary column containing a monolithic stationary phase synthesized from 1,6-hexanediol dimethacrylate. Good retention time repeatability (RSD 0.09-0.74%) was obtained for a mixture containing an unretained marker (i.e., uracil) and a homologous series of alkyl benzenes. © 2013 Elsevier B.V..

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