Dolomite, in collaboration with the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science, has successfully tested the miniaturisation of gas chromatography equipment for environmental testing. The glass Gas Chromatography Chip has a 300 µm thick layer and is fabricated with isotropic channels, which effectively replace the capillary and spindle structure which is characteristic of standard GC columns. This microfluidic miniaturisation enables the production of portable, robust and low power GC systems suitable for environmental applications such as atmospheric monitoring.
The chip design includes an injection zone, which allows activated carbon particles to be loaded and held, forming a sample absorption column. Closely packed within a 100 x 100 mm microfluidic chip, the 7.5 m and 1.4 m long channels have an internal diameter of 320 µm to ensure efficient heat transfer. With a circular cross section, a uniform coating can be evenly applied to the inside surface of the channel, effectively mimicking the stationary phase, to aid separation. The results have been published in Journal of Chromatography A.
Professor Alastair Lewis, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of York, commented, "We are very pleased with the progress of our development and the excellent support we have received from Dolomite, which helped us to make significant progress. Our research has shown that microfluidics is an enabling technology for the next generation of environmental testing equipment. It provides in-situ environmental monitoring capabilities with the possibility of a more rapid response to adverse changes in air quality."
For further information on the complete range of microfluidic products available from Dolomite, including chips, connectors/interconnects, pumps, valves and flow sensors, please visit www.dolomite-microfluidics.com.