Porous polymeric materials for chromatography : Synthesis, functionalization and characterization

University dissertation from Umeå : Kemiska Institutionen, Umeå universitet

Abstract: Background: Separation science is heavily reliant on materials to fulfill ever more complicated demands raised by other areas of science, notably the rapidly expanding molecular biosciences and environmental monitoring. The key to successful separations lies in a combination of physical properties and surface chemistry of stationary phases used in liquid chromatographic separation, and this thesis address both aspects of novel separation materials.Methods: The thesis accounts for several approaches taken during the course of my graduate studies, and the main approaches have been i) to test a wild-grown variety of published methods for surface treatment of fused silica capillaries, to ascertain firm attachment of polymeric monoliths to the wall of microcolumns prepared in silica conduits; ii) developing a novel porogen scheme for organic monoliths including polymeric porogens and macromonomers; iii) evaluating a mesoporous styrenic monolith for characterization of telomers intended for use in surface modification schemes and; iv) to critically assess the validity of a common shortcut used for estimating the porosity of monoliths prepared in microconduits; and finally v) employing plasma chemistry for activating and subsequently modifying the surface of rigid, monodisperse particles prepared from divinylbenzene.Results: The efforts accounted for above have resulted in i) better knowledge of the etching and functionalization parameters that determine attachment of organic monoliths prepared by radical polymerization to the surface of silica; ii) polar methacrylic monoliths with a designed macroporosity that approaches the desired "connected rod" macropore morphology; iii) estab¬lishing the usefulness of monoliths prepared via nitroxide mediated polymerization in gradient polymer elution chromatography; iv) proving that scanning electron microscopy images are of limited value for assessing the macroporous properties of organic monoliths, and that pore measurements on externally polymerized monolith cocktails do not represent the porous properties of the same cocktail polymerized in narrow confinements; and v) showing that plasma bromination can be used as an activation step for rigid divinylbenzene particles to act as grafting handles for epoxy-containing telomers, that can be attached in a sufficiently dense layer and converted into carboxylate cation exchange layer that allows protein separations in fully aqueous eluents.

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