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The Development of Novel Nanomaterials for Separation Science
Zewe, Joseph William

2012, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Chemistry.

Separation efficiency is inversely proportional to the diameter of the particles of the stationary phase. Accordingly, a major aim of current separations research is focused on the reduction of both the diameter and particle-to-particle size variation of sorbent materials utilized as stationary phases. Herein, novel methods for the fabrication and application of various nanoscale stationary phases are described.

Electrospinning is a simple and cost-effective method of generating nanofibers; here both polymeric and carbon electrospun nanofibers are applied as sorbent materials. Carbon nanofibers are of particular interest; graphite and glassy carbon are widely utilized in separation science due to their chemical and mechanical stability and unique selectivity. Electrospun carbon nanofibers have proven to be ideal for use as an extractive phase for solid phase microextraction (SPME) and have been successfully coupled to both gas and liquid chromatography. The high surface area nanofibrous mat provides extraction efficiencies for both polar and nonpolar compounds that range from 2-8 times greater than those attainable using currently available commercial SPME fibers. The electrospun nanofibrous SPME phases proved to be very stable when immersed in a range of solvents, demonstrating increased stability relative to conventional liquid SPME coatings. The chemical and mechanical stability of the electrospun carbon nanofiber SPME phases expands the range of compounds that are applicable to SPME while extending the lifetime of the SPME fibers.

Molecularly imprinted (MI) electrospun polymeric and carbon nanofibers were also generated using the template molecule dibutyl butyl phosphonate (DBBP), a surrogate for chemical warfare agents. Nicotine was also used as a template molecule. The MI-nanofibers imprinted with DBBP were applied as an adsorbent for SPME. The MI-SPME fibers preferentially adsorbed the DBBP template molecule relative to the non-imprinted SPME fibers, demonstrating that imprinted surfaces containing analyte-specific recognition sites can be produced. MI-nicotine electrospun nanofibers were also studied as a solid phase extraction (SPE) adsorbent for the extraction of nicotine from water. The MI-nanofibers showed a greater extraction efficiency for nicotine relative to their non-imprinted counterparts.

Electrospun nanofibers have proven to be effective stationary phases in ultra-thin layer chromatography (UTLC), giving more efficient separations in shorter analysis times than traditional particle-based stationary phases. This technology was further enhanced by aligning the nanofibrous mats in a single direction. Aligned electrospun UTLC (AE-UTLC) devices showed improved performance relative to non-aligned electrospun UTLC phases, demonstrating higher separation efficiency and reduced times of analysis.

All currently utilized carbon sorbents, including the carbon nanofibers described in this work, possess at least two different surface sites for interaction with solutes, namely basal-plane and edge-plane sites. It is predicted that a more homogenous carbon surface, consisting entirely of either all-basal or all-edge plane sites, would produce a separation with a significant improvement in chromatographic efficiency. Progress toward homogenous carbon phases and their application and sorption behavior are also discussed.

Susan Olesik, PhD (Advisor)
Claudia Turro, PhD (Committee Member)
Anne Co, PhD (Committee Member)
Hua Wang, PhD (Committee Member)
248 p.

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Zewe, J. (2012). The Development of Novel Nanomaterials for Separation Science. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from

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Zewe, Joseph. "The Development of Novel Nanomaterials for Separation Science." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2012. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 19 Nov 2018.

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Zewe, Joseph "The Development of Novel Nanomaterials for Separation Science." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2012.


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