Laser ablation construction of on-column reagent addition devices for capillary electrophoresis

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A simple and reproducible technique for constructing perfectly aligned gaps in fused-silica capillaries has been developed for postcolumn reagent addition with capillary electrophoresis. This technique uses laser ablation with the second harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser (532 nm) at 13.5 mJ/pulse and a repetition rate of 15 Hz to create these gaps. A capillary is glued to a microscope slide and positioned at the focal point of a cylindrical lens using the focused beam from a laser pointer as a reference. Gaps of 14.0 ± 2.2 μm (n = 33) at the bore of the capillary are produced with a success rate of 94% by ablation with 400 pulses. This simple method of gap construction requires no micromanipulation under a microscope, hydrofluoric acid etching, or use of column fittings. These structures have been used for reagent addition for postcolumn derivatization with laser-induced fluorescence detection and have been tested for the separation of proteins and amino acids. Detection limits of 6 × 10-7 and 1 × 10-8 M have been obtained for glycine and tranferrin, respectively. Separation efficiencies obtained using these gap reactors range from 38 000 to 213 000 theoretical plates.

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Analytical Chemistry

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