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Electrophoresis 2009, 30(19), 3334-3338

Effects of heterogeneous electron-transfer rate on the resolution of electrophoretic separations based on microfluidics with end-column electrochemical detection

We demonstrate here that the electrode kinetics of an electrochemical detector contributes greatly to the resolution of the analyte bands in microchip electrophoresis systems with amperometric detection. The separation performance in terms of resolution and theoretical plate number can be improved and tailored by selecting or modifying the working electrode and/or by controlling the detection potential. Such improvements in the separation performance reflect the influence of the heterogeneous electron-transfer rate of electroactive analytes upon the post-channel band broadening, as illustrated for catechol and hydrazine compounds. The electrode kinetics thus has a profound effect not only on the sensitivity of electrochemical detectors but on the separation efficiency and the overall performance of microchip electrochemistry systems.

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