With capillary electrophoresis, buffer pH must be constant to achieve consistent migration times. Irreproducible separations have been attributed to pH changes due to water hydrolysis in the inlet/outlet vials. A method of measuring the pH of the electrolyte on-column is described that uses wavelength-resolved fluorescence detection. C.SNARF-1 is a fluorescent pH indicator that has a large change in fluorescence emission profile depending on pH. When it is incorporated into the running buffer, monitoring the pH-dependent emission spectra of the C.SNARF-1 allows column pH to be calculated. With reduced-volume outlet buffer vials in the nanoliter to low microliter range, significant changes in pH and column conductivity are measured during a single electrophoretic run, with pH fronts greater than 3 units passing a fixed point on the capillary over a several second period. These changes appear to be caused by reverse-migrating OH produced at the capillary outlet by the hydrolysis of water.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry