Ring-opening metathesis polymerization for the preparation of norbornene-based weak cation-exchange monolithic capillary columns.

Publication from Health

Gatschelhofer C., Mautner A., Reiter F., Pieber T. R., Buchmeiser M. R., Sinner F. M.

J Chromatogr A , 2009


Functionalized monolithic columns were prepared via ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) within silanized fused silica capillaries with an internal diameter of 200 microm by in situ grafting. This procedure is conducted in two steps, the first of which is the formation of the basic monolithic structure by polymerization of norborn-2-ene (NBE) and 1,4,4a,5,8,8a-hexahydro-1,4,5,8-exo,endo-dimethanonaphthalene (DMN-H6) in a porogenic system (toluene and 2-propanol) using RuCl(2)(PCy(3))(2)(CHPh) as ROMP initiator. In the second step the still active initiator sites located on the surface of the structure-forming microglobules were used as receptor groups for the attachment ("grafting") of functional groups onto the monolithic backbone by flushing the monolith with 7-oxanorborn-2-ene-5,6-carboxylic anhydride (ONDCA). Functionalization conditions were first defined that did not damage the backbone of low polymer content (20 monoliths allowing high-throughput chromatographic separations. Variation of the functionalization conditions was then shown to provide a means of controlling the degree of functionalization and resulting ion-exchange capacity. The maximum level of in situ ONDCA grafting was obtained by a 3h polymerization in toluene at 40 degrees C. The weak cation-exchange monoliths obtained provided good separation of a standard peptide mixture comprising four synthetic peptides designed specifically for the evaluation of cation-exchange columns. An equivalent separation was also achieved using the lowest capacity column studied, indicative of a high degree of robustness of the functionalization procedure. As well as demonstrably bearing ionic functional groups enabling analyte separation in the cation-exchange mode, the columns exhibited additional hydrophobic characteristics which influenced the separation process. The functionalized monoliths thus represent useful tools for mixed-mode separations.