The band dispersion in channels with an orderly pillar structure with a pressure-driven liquid flow was determined. Several channels with different geometries were etched in a silicon wafer and enclosed by a glass wafer. The microchannels obtained had the same depth, pillar disposition, and overall porosity, but different pillar diameters and channel widths. The broadening of narrow bands of a fluorescent sample solution flowing through the channels was measured using a fluorescence microscope. It was shown that the peak dispersion occurring in the channels can be much lower than in conventional packed columns, as a consequence of the higher degree of order of the solid structure. Reduced plate heights of similar to 0.2 could be obtained for (nonretained) bands. No correlation was found between the aspect ratio ( the ratio of the channel width and the pillar diameter) and band dispersion. The geometrical construction of the sidewall region was shown to play a critical role for channel performance. A good agreement was found with predictions for the optimal sidewall geometry obtained previously with simulation studies.
de Pra, M., Kok, W. T., Gardeniers, J. G. E., Desmet, G., Eeltink, S., van Nieuwkasteele, J. W., & Schoenmakers, P. J. (2006). Experimental study on band dispersion in channels structured with micropillars. Analytical chemistry, 78(10/18), 6519-6525. [10.1021/ac060915h]. https://doi.org/10.1021/ac060915h