The separation of wide molecular mass (Mr) ranges of macromolecules using frit inlet asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation (FI-AFlFFF) has been improved by implementing a combination of field and flow programming. In this first implementation, field strength (governed by the cross flow-rate through the membrane-covered accumulation wall) is decreased with time to obtain faster elution and improved detection of the more strongly retained (high Mr) materials. The channel outlet flow-rate is optionally held constant, increased, or decreased with time. With circulation of the flow exiting the accumulation wall to the inlet frit, the dual programming of cross flow and channel outlet flow could be implemented using just two pumps. With this flow configuration, the channel outlet flow-rate is always equal to the channel inlet flow-rate, and these may be programmed independently of the cross flow-rate through the membrane. FI-AFlFFF retains its operational advantage over conventional asymmetrical flow FFF (AFlFFF). Unlike conventional AFlFFF, FI-AFlFFF does not require time consuming, and experimentally inconvenient, sample focusing and relaxation steps involving valve switching and interruption of sample migration. The advantages of employing dual programming with FI-AFlFFF are demonstrated for sets of polystyrene sulfonate standards in the molecular mass range of 4 to 1000 kDa. It is shown that programmed FI-AFlFFF successfully expands the dynamic separation range of molecular mass.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry