Polymerisation of bicontinuous microemulsions yields porous monolithic structures with well defined pore sizes that are potentially suitable for use as stationary phases for capillary electrochromatography (CEC). A variety of pore sizes can be achieved by altering the composition of the microemulsion, which typically consists of butyl methacrylate (BMA) and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the polymerisable oil phase. The aqueous phase consists of water, a surfactant (sodium dodecyl sulphate, SDS) and a co-surfactant (1-propanol). 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propane sulfonic acid (AMPS) is also added to provide charges along the polymer backbone to allow electroosmotic flow (EOF) to occur. SEM analysis shows that in-situ polymerisation yields a monolithic structure with a porous topography. Investigations have shown that these monoliths are easy to prepare, robust and suitable for the separation of phthalates. They generate higher linear velocities than are achieved using the silica based HPLC packings normally used for CEC.
- Capillary electrochromatography
- Monolithic columns
- Stationary phases