Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Abdul Malik, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Milton Johnston, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Piyush Koria, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Li-June Ming, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Theresa Evans-Nguyen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Siva Kumar Panguluri, Ph.D.


sol-gel process, metal alkoxide, stationary phase, deactivation, capillary gas chromatography, Van Deemter Plot, Surface sol-gel, core-shell particles, liquid chromatography


Chapter one reviewed the development of sol-gel stationary phase for gas chromatograph (GC). Inorganic sol-gel precursor creates the substrate support for stationary phase bind to silica surface through the condensation of silanol groups, the rough surface with enhanced surface area enlarger the capacity of the sol-gel stationary phase, the porosity of sol-gel structure decreases the mass transferring coefficient, the term C in Van Deemter equation, which makes sol-gel stationary phase thicker coating up to 1 um but keeps the high resolution for gas chromatography. Chemical bound stationary phase significantly improve GC column with better thermal stability and solvent stability. Partial derivatizations of known polymers have not increased the column performance but remained at the same level of 3200 plates per meter. The sol-gel chemistry with essential structure rebuilding will make sol-gel stationary phase to a new level.

The chapter two reported the non-silica-based metal alkoxide oxide as the new building block, cooperated with known polymer poly(dimethyldiphenylsilanoxan), developed the original nonpolar feature of the stationary phase to broad the polarity from the nonpolar to extreme polar, overcome the thermal stability for other types of polar column. The theoretical plate number reached the 3200 plates per meter, and the optimized plate number arrived at the top level at 3800 plates per meter. The basic recipe and preparation of sol-gel process were verified by tungsten alkoxide incorporated with poly(dimethyldiphenylsilanoxan) as the stationary phase which arrived the same plate number level at 3800 per meter.

Chapter three demonstrated the preparation of core-shell particle for HPLC. Conventional silica core particles were prepared with stÖbe methods. The extended layer of germanium oxide coating was made with acid and alkaline as a catalyst. EDS characterize the extended layers of germanium oxide has been coated at ratio 12/1(Ge/Si). Then the carbon loading with C 18 for surface derivatization were also confirmed with EDS testing. 2 um core-shell particles were successfully prepared from the external composition (1.7 um core, 0.3 um shell). The function of the core-shell particles was slurry packed with 5cm regular steel column and the capillary column with sol-gel frit. The preliminary HPLC testing showed the core-shell particles had more retention ability compare with 4 um commercial core particles. The backpressure of the short steel column and capillary both were beyond the pressure limit of conventional HPLC pump.

Chapter three demonstrates the new ideal of the surface sol-gel process for GC stationary phase. Without the catalyst, the sol solution has constant viscosity and gelation time is much longer, the sol-gel reaction was taking on the silica surface only, to accomplish the thinner coating for sol-gel stationary phase. From the retention time of the grob mixture, the surface sol-gel coated 2 meters of column acquired the half retention time, grob mixture analytes were eluted within 7 minutes, compared with conventional sol-gel coated column eluted within 14 minutes. Without the TFA as the catalyst, the sol-gel matrix may not form effective surface area and porosity to support the functional polymer for separation, the column performances were two third of the protocol column, at 1500-2500 plate number per meter. The coating results proved the sol-gel stationary phase could be fulfilled with diluted sol solution by static coating. Basic parameters for dynamic coating and static coating with conventional coating and surface sol-gel were acquired for further development. The germania and niobium precursor is highly active, the water amount in the solvents used as received without drying process can meet the surface sol-gel coating without precipitates and gelation formed before finishing coat.

For germania -PDMDPS column, thermal stability is very important because of the temperature for remaining the low residual OH- group in silica and germania film at 350 °C.

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