On the basis of our previous work on the design of pillar array columns for liquid chromatography, we report on a new pillar array design for high-efficiency, high volumetric loadability gas chromatography columns. The proposed pillar array configuration leads to a column design which can either be considered as a packed bed with perfectly ordered and uniform flow paths or as multicapillary columns (8 parallel tracks) with a maximal interconnectivity between the flow paths to avoid the so-called polydispersity effect (dispersion arising from the inevitable differences in migration velocity between parallel flow paths). Despite our relative inexperience with column coating, and most probably (not supported by data) suffering from the same problem of stationary phase pooling in the right-angled corners of the flow-through channels as other chip-based GC devices, the efficiencies obtained in a L = 70 cm long and 75 μm deep and 6.195 mm wide chip for, respectively, quasi-unretained and retained components (k = 7) went up to N = 60 000 and 12 500 under isothermal conditions using H2 as carrier gas and a downstream restriction. Under programmed temperature conditions (Ti = 80 °C, Tf = 175 °C at 30 °C/min, and a H2 flow of 0.4 mL/min), a peak capacity of 170 was obtained in 3.6 min. For retained compounds, the optimal flow rate is found to be on the order of 0.4 mL/min, achieved at an operating pressure of 2.3 bar. Intrinsically, the column combines the efficiency of a 75 μm capillary with the volumetric loadability of a 240 μm capillary.
Jespers, S., Schlautmann, S., Gardeniers, H., de Malsche, W., Lynen, F., & Desmet, G. (2017). Chip-based multicapillary column with maximal interconnectivity to combine maximum efficiency and maximum loadability. Analytical chemistry, 89(21), 11605−11613. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b03036