In-line application of electric fields in capillary separation systems

University dissertation from Fakulteten för teknik- och naturvetenskap

Abstract: The magnitude of an electric field possible to apply in a capillary separation system is limited, because a high electric field causes a too high current through the capillary. Application of the electric field in-line will give an increased conductivity in the column, further increasing the risk of too high currents. The conductivity changes were found to result from an overall increase in ionic strength within the electric field. The increase in ionic strength is caused by the increase in mobile phase ions with electrophoretic velocity against the flow, together with OH- or H3O+ ions (depending on polarity) formed at the inlet electrode. Further it was found that the use of a pressurized reservoir or splitting of the flow at the inlet electrode could significantly limit the conductivity changes and thereby the maximum applicable electric field strengths could be increased.

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