Nicholas H. Snow | Authors


Stationary Phase Selectivity: The Chemistry Behind the Separation

“The column is the heart of the separation.” Perhaps more accurately, the column is where the chemistry that generates a separation happens. For chemists and non-chemists alike, the chemistry that drives the utility of a column to solve a separation problem can be complex and confusing. Selectivity describes the ability of a column to effect a separation. This instalment of “GC Connections” focuses on selectivity, its definition, and its importance for generating separations and resolution. We will also see how selectivity is the concept that underlies the idea of column polarity. We begin by asking two simple questions about common observations, then extend these observations into a capillary gas chromatography (GC) column, and conclude with an introduction to methods for evaluating the quality, selectivity, and polarity of a stationary phase or column.

Split, Splitless, and Beyond—Getting the Most From Your Inlet

While capillary gas chromatography has been undergoing a renaissance, with new columns, detectors, data systems, and multidimensional separations, the classical inlets have remained the same: We are still injecting liquid samples with syringes into split and splitless inlets, as we have for nearly 50 years. Split and splitless injections present several well-known and some not-so-well known challenges, mostly arising from heating of the inlet, that make sample injection and inlets a major hurdle for gas chromatographers. These challenges and some ideas for mitigating them are discussed and a case is made for renewed exploration of the cool inlets and injection techniques: cool on-column and programmed temperature vaporization.