Spectroscopic Investigation Of Model Silica-Solvent Interfaces Relevant To Chromatographic Separations
AdvisorPemberton, Jeanne E.
Committee ChairPemberton, Jeanne E.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA novel strategy to investigate interfaces relevant to chromatographic separations is presented. The strategy in this dissertation relies on three key ideas: 1) design and fabrication of appropriate model of chromatographic interface, 2) use of forced dewetting to separate interfacial constituent of mobile phase from its bulk component yet preserves the interface, and 3) use of IR spectroscopy and ellipsometry to investigate the structure and thickness of isolated interface.Stratified structures of ultrathin (< 10 nm thick) silica films on gold using gold oxide as adhesive layer and wetting control agent are used as model solid phase. Such design provides chemical environment of bulk silica surface, does not introduce significant spectral background, is suitable for reflection-based spectroscopies, and allow for easy modification to mimic wide range of silica - solvent interfaces. Bare silica-water models capillary electrophoresis interfaces; water-methanol mixture at octadecylsilane-modified silica represents reversed phase liquid chromatography interfaces.Forced dewetting is used to decouple interfacial constituent of mobile phase from its bulk component; yet, the integrity of interface is preserved. This approach, combined with the use of IR spectroscopy and ellipsometry, allowed for ambient atmosphere characterization of these interfacial layers in terms of their structure, composition, and thickness for water at bare silica. Hydrogen bonding was probed in case of complex water-methanol binary mixture at octadecylsilane-modified silica surface.The analysis of residual water layers formed by forced dewetting at bare silica as a function of bulk solution pH shows that the structure of the interfacial layer is highly ordered compared to bulk, and is also pH dependent. Further, thicknesses of interfacial layers were found to be pH dependent and vary from ~6 (pH 1) to ~9 nm (pH 9). Gouy-Chapman-Stern double layer was found to be inadequate to satisfactorily describe observed trends. In addition, surface enhanced infrared absorbance phenomenon was also observed that aided increased quality of resulting IR spectra.The analysis of residual water-methanol layers formed by forced dewetting at octadecylsilane-modified silica surface as a function of gas phase atmosphere shows that the structure of the interfacial layer is highly dependent on the composition of gas phase. The observed changes indicate that condensation of methanol from gas phase into residual layer and/or evaporation of water from residual layer into gas phase may occur in used experimental setup used in this dissertation. For that reason, more precise quantification of relative amounts of water and methanol in residual layers was precluded. Yet, regardless of investigational conditions, two different hydrogen bonding environments for methanol were distinctively observed.