This work focuses on improving the quality of carbon-based core-shell materials for high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) via the characterization of the core materials, and also the development of chromatographic methods (separations) for them. In the early part of this work, I applied organic synthesis to make uniform, spherical poly(divinylbenzene) (PDVB) microspheres, and then carbonized them to prepare carbon core materials for core-shell particle synthesis. Here, I studied in detail the surface and material properties of these particles with multiple instruments, which allowed me to describe the physical and chemical changes that took place during each treatment. The uniform, spherical carbon core materials greatly improved the efficiency of the previously developed carbon-based core-shell HPLC columns from ca. 70,000 plates per meter (N/m) to ca. 110,000 N/m for various alkyl benzenes. Later, I focused on generating application notes to showcase these mixed-mode HPLC columns. Here, liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used for the detection of analytes that lack chromophores for UV detection. In this dissertation, Chapter 1 contains a historical background and theory of HPLC along with a review of the use of carbon-based core-shell materials for elevated pH and temperature applications. Chapter 2 describes the improvement of the efficiency of carbon-based materials for HPLC using carbonized PDVB microspheres as the carbon core material. Chapter 3 is a study on the characterization of carbonized PDVB microspheres with multiple instruments. Chapter 4 describes the separation of cannabinoids using three types of carbon-based mixed-mode HPLC columns. Chapter 5 consists of (i) guidelines for the retention mechanism of the core-shell particles that have been commercialized for chromatography by Diamond Analytics, a US Synthetic Company in Orem, Utah, and (ii) application notes for these columns. Finally, Chapter 6 discusses possible future work.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


Document Type





poly(divinylbenzene), nanodiamond, chromatography, core-shell, mixed-mode, multi-instruments, cannabinoids