Effects of Column Inner Diameter and Packed Bed Heterogeneities on Chromatographic Performance
In recent years industry has been moving to columns with smaller and smaller inner diameters-moving from 4.6 and 3.0 mm i.d. columns to 2.1 mm, 1.0 mm, and even smaller. While small inner diameter columns have some clear advantages, they also bring challenges. Reduction of extracolumn volumes must be given greater consideration by both customers and manufacturers. Additionally, experimental evidence suggests that the very narrow confinement of chromatographic particles can result in packed bed structures that promote increased dispersion and reduced efficiency. This article focuses on the sources of band broadening within high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) columns with particular emphasis on eddy dispersion. The physical mechanisms of dispersion are discussed and a review of the current literature as it pertains to small inner diameter columns is presented.