Authors:Hong Kyeong Jung, Miri Mun, Ashraf Ali and Won Jo Cheong
The advent of disposable micro-columns will be a hope of workers of chromatography-related laboratories. A very critical and important requirement is the formation of affordable inlet frits. Welding a metal screen to a column inlet is not recommended because of the risk of damage to stationary phase. In this study, the Tollens probe (silver mirror reaction) was adopted to make affordable frits. Silver is reduced on the particle surface and in an empty space among the particles, forming a solid silver network structure at the column inlet area by injecting the reaction solution into the packed column at a depth of one third (10 cm) of the packed bed (0.5 mm × 300 mm). The silver cement structure was successfully formed, and the silver cement frit endured mobile phase flow well when C18 modified ground silica monolith particles were used to make the packed bed. The formation of the silver cement frit was not successful when the stationary phase based on conventional spherical silica particles was used. Negligible reduction of chromatographic performance by the silver cemented frit was observed. This study serves as the first step toward realization of disposable micro-columns.