Flow Field-Flow Fractionation with a Thickness-Tapered Channel

Seung Yeon Shin, Jae Won Seo, Jin Yong Kim, Philip Stephen Williams, Myeong Hee Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study introduces the thickness-tapered channel design for flow field-flow fractionation (FlFFF) for the first time. In this design, the channel thickness linearly decreases along the channel axis such that the flow velocity increases down the channel. Channel thickness is an important variable for controlling retention time and resolution in field-flow fractionation. Especially, in the steric/hyperlayer mode of FlFFF, in which particles (>1 μm) migrate at elevated heights above the channel wall owing to hydrodynamic lift forces, the migration of long-retaining smaller-sized particles can be enhanced in a relatively thin channel or by increasing the migration flow rate; however, an upper size limit that can be resolved is simultaneously sacrificed. A thickness-tapered channel was constructed without a channel spacer by carving the surface of a channel block such that the channel inlet was deeper than the outlet (w = 400 → 200 μm). The performance of a thickness-tapered channel was evaluated using polystyrene standards and compared to that of a channel of uniform thickness (w = 300 μm) with a similar effective channel volume in terms of sample recovery, dynamic size range of separation, and steric transition under different flow rate conditions. The thickness-tapered channel can be an alternative to maintain the resolving power for particles with an upper large-diameter limit, faster separation of particles with a lower limit, and higher elution recovery without implementing the additional field-programming option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14460-14466
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number41
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct 18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea (NRF-2021R1A2C2003171).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry


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