My work has focused on a variety of different types of diamond-based, core-shell particles. These particles are formed with inert cores and poly(allylamine)/nanodiamond shells. Their intended purpose is to form an LC stationary phase that is stable from pH 1 – 14 and at elevated temperatures. At the beginning of my studies, the particles that had been made in the Linford laboratory were pH stable, but irregular and had poor mechanical stability. Since that time, I have worked to improve the particles by using more spherical zirconia and carbon cores, and I have improved their mechanical stability via chemical crosslinking with epoxides. I have performed van Deemter and van’t Hoff analyses to understand the properties of these columns. Efficiencies greater than 100,000 N/m are routinely achieved with these carbon/nanodiamond-based phases. In addition I contributed to two patents that show innovations in diamond functionalization. My contributions involved reduction of an oxidized diamond surface with LiAlH4 prior to functionalization with isocyanates. I also wrote some application notes for the Flare mixed-mode column, which was recently introduced to the market and contains particles comprised of a carbon core and a polymer/nanodiamond shell. These application notes show the gradient separations of four essential oils (lavender, melaleuca, peppermint and eucalyptus), and the isocratic separations of various triazine herbicides and a mixture of β2-agonists and amphetamines.This dissertation contains the following sections. Chapter 1 is a review of liquid chromatographic history and theory. It also includes a history of the use of diamonds in liquid chromatography. Chapter 2 is a study on a glassy carbon core - polymer/nanodiamond shell particle made in our laboratory. Stability studies at pH 11.3 and 13 were performed and different analytes were retained and/or separated on the column. Chapter 3 is a study performed on the Flare mixed-mode column. Separations of tricyclic antidepressants, β2-andrenergic receptor agonists, and linear chain alkylbenzenes were demonstrated with this phase. Van Deemter and van’t Hoff studies were also performed to probe the efficiency and selectivity of this column with different classes of analytes. Chapter 4 chronicles, via SEM and van Deemter analysis, the improvements that have taken place in our column after many iterations of improved synthetic methods and new materials. These include better particle uniformity, particle stability, and column efficiency. Three different carbon cores were analyzed, each better than the previous one. Appendices 1 – 6 are application notes published by Diamond Analytics of β2-andrenergic receptor agonists and amphetamines, triazine herbicides, and lavender, melaleuca, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils. Appendices 7 and 8 are patents that contain ideas and research contributed by the author.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


Document Type





diamond, reversed-phase chromatography, mixed-mode, scanning electron microscopy, liquid chromatography, elevated temperature chromatography, van’t Hoff plots, van Deemter curves