Preparing Titania Aerogel Monolithic Chromatography Columns Using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide
Journal of Separation Science
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The search for a method to fabricate monolithic inorganic columns has attracted significant recent attention due to their unique ability in separation applications of various biomolecules. Silica and polymer based monolithic columns have been prepared, but titania and other metal oxide monoliths have been elusive, primarily due to their fragility. This article describes a new approach for preparing nanostructured titania based columns, which offer better performance over conventional particle packed columns for separating a wide variety of biomolecules including phosphopeptides. TiO(2) monolithic aerogels were synthesized in separation columns using in situ sol-gel reactions in supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO(2)) followed by calcination, and compared to those prepared in heptanes. The characterization results show that scCO(2) is a better solvent for the sol-gel reactions, providing lower shrinkage with the anatase TiO(2) monolith composed of nanofibers with very high surface areas. The monolithic columns show the ability to isolate phosphopeptides with little flow resistance compared to conventional titania particle based microcolumns.