Journal of chromatography. A

Microfabrication, separations, and detection by mass spectrometry on ultrathin-layer chromatography plates prepared via the low-pressure chemical vapor deposition of silicon nitride onto carbon nanotube templates.

PMID 26065571


Microfabrication of ultrathin-layer chromatography (UTLC) plates via conformal deposition of silicon nitride by low-pressure chemical vapor deposition onto patterned carbon nanotube (CNT) scaffolds was demonstrated. After removal of the CNTs and hydroxylation, the resulting UTLC phase showed no expansion or distortion of their microfeatures and the absence/reduction of remaining nitrogenic species. Developing time of a mixture of lipophilic dyes on this UTLC plates was 86% shorter than on high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) plates. A water-soluble food dye mixture was also separated resulting in low band broadening and reduced developing time compared to HPTLC. For the latter example, mobile phase optimization on a single UTLC plate consisted of 14 developments with different mobile phases, each preceded by a plate prewashing step. The same plate was again reused for additional 11 separations under varying conditions resulting in a development procedure with a mean separation efficiency of 233,000theoretical plates/m and a reduced mobile phase consumption of only 400μL. This repeated use proved the physical robustness of the ultrathin layer and its resistance to damage. The layer was highly suited for hyphenation to ambient mass spectrometry, including desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometry imaging and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry.