Author(s): Kika FS
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Abstract Automation is a key demand in modern analytical chemistry. Automated analytical schemes facilitate samples handling, and enable effective processes such as dilution, extraction, derivatization, and preconcentration to be carried out. Flow (FI) and sequential injection (SI) analysis are well-established and mature automated analytical techniques with more than 18,000 publications so far in all areas of analytical science. FI and SI offer significant advantages such as low instrumental and operational cost, widely available instrumentation, and effective automation of critical steps in the analytical process. Until recently, the main disadvantage of FI and SI was the inability of simultaneous determinations of more than two analytes in a single run. Due to the low pressure operation of these techniques, it was impossible for them to be coupled to conventional particulate-based separation columns that enable chromatographic separations. This drawback was overcome by the introduction of monolithic stationary phases. Monolithic columns are prepared from organic and silica monomers. Silica-based monoliths have small-sized skeletons and a bimodal pore size distribution with microm-sized throughpores and nm-sized mesopores. This gives silica-based monoliths favorable properties for high-efficiency fast separations, such as low-pressure drop across the column, fast mass transfer kinetics and a high binding capacity. They consist of a single rigid porous rod, enabling higher flow rates than particulate columns at reasonable back-pressures. These unique features of monolithic columns enabled their incorporation in low/moderate pressure setups, such as FI and SI, expanding dramatically their possibilities.
This article was published in J Chromatogr Sci
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta