What limits your LC today?
When was the last time that you couldn’t sufficiently separate some peaks of interest? How did you feel in this moment? If you own a standard HPLC system and normally perform separations on 5 µm or 3 µm columns, you have a great chance for improving this lack of separating power or chromatographic resolution.
But there are some things you should take into account before investing time and money in new methods or equipment.
How fit is your LC system?
If you can switch your acquisition data rate to more than 20 Hz without considerable additional noise, you may be up to trying out a high performance column. If you don’t own a system with low dead volume, capable of delivering solvent at over 600 bar, there will only be a few applications on fully porous sub-2 µm columns which are suitable for your HPLC. Core-shell or superficially porous columns might be worth a try, because of their lower back pressure, but you need to be sure that system dead volume and your detector flow cell don’t spoil the improved separation results of the column.
If the gain in resolution with the new column is high enough you could even speed up your analysis by using shorter columns.
How important is scalability for you?
If you use your system for screening and the methods you develop are intended for being easily transferred to a preparative scale HPLC, fully porous particle columns are your best choice. Unlike core-shell columns, a fully porous stationary phase is typically available in different particle sizes (e.g. 2, 3, 5, or 10 µm) and features significantly higher loadability, enabling much easier up-scaling. To speed up analytical throughput under these circumstances, you would prefer sub-2 µm columns, requiring a UHPLC system.
The two aforementioned situations show that it is not just about exchanging the column to achieve higher peak resolution, but also additional limitations and conditions apply, depending on your application and the HPLC system available.
With a UHPLC system or an HPLC system, which can be upgraded to full UHPLC capabilities, you have the choice to master both of the above situations without compromises. The KNAUER PLATINblue UHPLC/HPLC Plus systems offer you that freedom of choice. Be sure to get the maximum resolution with both core-shell and sub-2µm fully porous particle columns.