Highly cross-linked monoliths prepared from single cross-linking monomers were found to increase surface area and stability. Therefore, seven cross-linking monomers, i.e., 1,3-butanediol dimethacrylate (1,3-BDDMA), 1,4-butanediol dimethacrylate (1,4-BDDMA), neopentyl glycol dimethacrylate (NPGDMA), 1,5-pentanediol dimethacrylate (1,5-PDDMA), 1,6-hexanediol dimethacrylate (1,6-HDDMA), 1,10-decanediol dimethacrylate (1,10-DDDMA), and 1,12-dodecanediol dimethacrylate (1,12-DoDDMA), were used to synthesize highly cross-linked monolithic columns in 75-µm i.d. capillaries by one-step UV-initiated polymerization using dodecanol and methanol as porogens for reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC) of small molecules. Selection of porogen type and concentration was investigated in detail. Isocratic elution of alkylbenzenes at a flow rate of 300 nL/min was conducted for all of the monoliths. Gradient elution of alkylbenzenes and alkylparabens provided high resolution separations. Several of the monoliths demonstrated column efficiencies in excess of 50,000 plates/m. Monoliths with longer alkyl-bridging chains showed very little shrinking or swelling in solvents of different polarities. In addition, highly cross-linked monolithic capillary columns poly(1,6-HDDMA), poly(cyclohexanediol dimethacrylate) [poly(CHDDMA)] and poly(1,4-phenylene diacrylate) [poly(PHDA)], were synthesized and compared for RPLC of small molecules. Isocratic elution of alkylbenzenes was performed using 1,6-HDDMA and CHDDMA monolithic columns. Gradient elution of alkylbenzenes using all three monolithic columns showed good separations. Monolithic columns formed from 1,6-HDDMA, which had a linear alkyl-bridging chain structure, exhibited the highest column efficiencies (86,000 plates/m). Optimized columns showed high permeability and high run-to-run and column-to-column reproducibilities. Monoliths prepared from controlled/living polymerization was demonstrated exhibiting narrower molecular weight distribution and more homogeneous cross-linked structures due to the reversible character of this polymerization method. Thus, monolithic columns were developed from three cross-linking monomers, i.e., 1, 12-DoDDMA, trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate (TMPTMA) and pentaerythritol tetraacrylate (PETA) using organotellurium-mediated living radical polymerization (TERP) in 150-µm i.d. capillaries for RPLC of small molecules. Selection of the polymerization conditions for the 1,12-DoDDMA monolirh was investigated in detail. Isocratic elution of alkylbenzenes was achieved with good efficiency (47,700 to 64,200 plates/m for uracil) using all monolithic columns prepared using TERP.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


Document Type





monolith, reversed-phase liquid chromatography, small molecule separation