Two dimensional gas chromatography (GCxGC) has emerged as an effective method of separating complex mixtures. A better understanding of how the properties of the primary and secondary column relate to one another would allow for more informed choices in coupling columns, improving separation efficiency. Stationary phase polarity characterization would be particularly useful. While tabular McReynolds numbers already provide a column’s polarity, the Dorman lab has approached presenting polarity graphically on a relative scale to convey this information more easily. By comparing the differences between the retention indices (RI) of polar probes on polar phases compared against their RI on a purely dispersive reference phase the strength of the polar attribute can be determined. This approach considers both the nature of the polar selectivity and the magnitude of polar relative to dispersive interactions, providing robust characterization of stationary phase polarity.
Further research of GCxGC column compatibility by the Dorman lab has focused on managing the elution temperature from the primary column. The elution temperature of solutes from the primary column has significant impact on their retention in the secondary column. It has been shown that elution temperature is related to the normalized heating rate. While past demonstrations have not been well controlled or generalizable, we seek to firmly establish the influence of normalized heating rate on elution temperature, as well as the influence of solute-stationary phase polarity match on that relationship.