gas chromatography, GC, microchip GC, stainless-steel


This paper reports the first results of a robust, high performance, stainless-steel microchip gas chromatography (GC) column that is capable of analyzing complex real world mixtures as well as operating at very high temperatures. Using a serpentine design, a 10 m column with an approximately semicircular cross section with a 52 µm hydraulic diameter (Dh) was produced in a 17 cm x 6.3 cm x 0.1 cm rectangular steel chip. The channels were produced using a multilayer chemical etch and diffusion bonding process, and metal nuts were brazed onto the inlet and outlet ports allowing for column interfacing with ferrules and fused silica capillary tubing. After deactivating the metal surface, channels were statically coated with a layer of 0.16 µm (5%-phenyl)(1%-vinyl)-methylpolysiloxane (SE-54) stationary phase, and cross-linked with dicumyl peroxide. By using n-tridecane (n-C13) as test analyte with a retention factor (k) of 5, a total of 44,500 plates (≈4500 plates/m) was obtained isothermally at 120 ºC, and rapid temperature programming (35 ºC/min) was demonstrated for the boiling point range from n-C5 to n-C44 (ASTM D 2887 simulated distillation standard). The column was also tested for separation of two complex mixtures: gasoline headspace and kerosene. These initial experiments demonstrate that the planar stainless-steel column with proper interfacing can be a viable alternative platform for portable, robust microchip GC that is capable of high temperature operation for low volatility compound analysis.

Original Publication Citation

Ghosh, A., Foster, A. R., Johnson, J. C., Vilorio, C. R., Tolley, L. T., Iverson, B. D., Hawkins, A. R., Tolley, H. D., and Lee, M. L., 2019, "Stainless-steel column for robust high temperature microchip gas chromatography," Analytical Chemistry, (in press). DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b04174

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


American Chemical Society




Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor