Recently, we demonstrated the possibility to extend the range of capillary electrophoresis (CE) applications to the separation of non-water-soluble synthetic polymers. This work focuses on the control of the electro-osmotic flow (EOF) and on the limitation of the solute adsorption in nonaqueous electrolytes. For these purposes, different strategies were investigated. For the initial, a viscous additive (ethylene glycol or glycerol) was used in the electrolyte in order to decrease the EOF magnitude and, possibly, to compete with solute adsorption. A second strategy was to modify, before separation, the fused-silica capillary wall by the adsorption of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) via hydrogen bonding. The influence of the molecular mass of the adsorbed PEO on the EOF magnitude and direction was studied in electrolytes based on methanol/acetonitrile mixtures containing ammonium ions. For PEO molecular masses above 1000 g/mol, reversed (anodic) EOF were reported in accordance with previous results obtained with PEO covalently bonded capillaries. The influence of the nature and the concentration of the background electrolyte cation on the EOF magnitude and direction were also investigated. A third strategy consisted in modifying the capillary wall by the adsorption of a cationic polyelectrolyte layer. Advantageously, this polyelectrolyte layer suppressed the adsorption of the polymer solutes onto the capillary wall. The results obtained in this work confirm the high potential and the versatility of CE for the characterization of ionizable organic polymers in nonaqueous media.
- coated materials,biocompatible
- electrophoresis, capillary
- hydrogen bonding
- polyethylene glycols
- surface properties