Pioneering Chromatographer Jack Kirkland Dies at 91

November 8, 2016

Chromatography pioneer J.J. (Jack) Kirkland died on Sunday, October 30, after a short illness. He was 91 years old.

Chromatography pioneer J.J. (Jack) Kirkland died on Sunday, October 30, after a short illness. He was 91 years old.

Kirkland was one of the original pioneers of modern liquid chromatography and made many substantial contributions to the development of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) since its inception in the 1960s. Highlights among his contributions include the development of the first spherical packing designed specifically for modern HPLC; the development of siloxane bonded phases; the establishment of processes for manufacturing spherical, small-particle (5-μm) totally porous packings that introduced a major leap forward in the performance of HPLC columns; the development of acid- and temperature-stable, sterically protected bonded phases; the development of the first small, superficially porous particles for separating high-molecular-weight molecules such as synthetic organic polymers and natural proteins; and the introduction of very small (2.7-μm) core–shell particles to enable ultrahigh-pressure liquid chromatography (UHPLC)-like performance of separations run at HPLC pressures.

Kirkland also developed, along with Jurgen Kohler, the first “type B” silica support, which vastly reduced the acidity of silica surfaces and thereby improved the HPLC of basic compounds. In collaboration with Wallace Yau, Kirkland developed the concept of using bimodal pore size packing materials for performing size-exclusion chromatography with solutes ranging over four orders of magnitude in size.

Kirkland was the vice-president of research and development at Advanced Materials Technology, Inc., of Wilmington, Delaware, and continued to be very active at the company until his recent illness. His latest project, 1000-Å pore-size superficially porous particles, will soon be commercialized. A manuscript describing this material, Kirkland’s last technical contribution of many, has been submitted for publication in the Journal of Chromatography A

Kirkland won numerous awards during his career, including the LCGC Lifetime Achievement in Chromatography Award, which he won in 2015. He published more than 160 peer-reviewed papers and wrote or edited eight books on chromatography, many of which were translated into several languages. He also received 32 patents.

Kirkland is survived by his wife, Karin, and his five children, Holly Kirkland Clouser, Mark Kirkland, Celeste Mozeik, Kent Kirkland, and Kerry Kirkland, and six grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Friday, November 11, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at the Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Kirkland’s life will be celebrated in a memorial service on Saturday, November 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Mount Lebanon United Methodist Church, 850 Mount Lebanon Road, Wilmington, Delaware 19803. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Jack Kirkland's memory to Mount Lebanon United Methodist Church, 850 Mount Lebanon Road, Wilmington, DE 19803.