Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy represents a promising on-line detector for capillary electrophoresis (CE). The inherent poor sensitivity of NMR mandates the use of NMR probes with the highest mass sensitivity, such as those containing solenoidal microcoils, for CE/NMR hyphenation. However, electrophoretic current degrades the resolution of NMR spectra obtained from solenoidal coils. A new method to avoid microcoil NMR spectral degradation during continuous-flow CE is demonstrated using a unique multiple solenoidal coil NMR probe. The electrophoretic flow from a single separation capillary is split into multiple outlets, each possessing its own NMR detection coil. While the CE electrophoretic flow is directed through one outlet, stopped-flow, high-resolution NMR spectra are obtained from the coil at the other outlet. The electrophoretic flow and NMR measurements are cycled between the outlets to allow a continuous CE separation with "stopped-flow" detection. As a new approach for improving multiple coil probe performance, the magnetic field homogeneity is automatically adjusted (via the shim coils of the magnet) for the active coil. The multiple microcoil CE/NMR coupling has been used to analyze a <3 nmole mixture of amines while obtaining between 1 and 2 Hz line width, demonstrating the ability to avoid electrophoretic current-induced line broadening.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry