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J Chromatogr A. 2004 Mar 19;1030(1-2):263-71.

Suppression of deleterious effects of free silanols in liquid chromatography by imidazolium tetrafluoroborate ionic liquids.

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  • 1Department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacodynamics, Medical University of Gdańsk, Gen. J. Hallera 107, 80-416 Gdańsk, Poland.


Silica-based stationary phases are commonly used in liquid chromatography, but their surface acidity causes known problems, especially when separating basic compounds. Deleterious effects of free silanols are not fully removed by standard prevention procedures consisting in adding alkylamines or other amino quenchers to the eluents. We found that ionic liquids of the imidazolium tetrafluoroborate class, added to mobile phases at concentrations of 0.5-1.5% (v/v), blocked silanols and provided excellent thin-layer chromatographic separations of strongly basic drugs which were otherwise not eluted, even with neat acetonitrile as the mobile phase. The silanol suppressing potency of imidazolium tetrafluoroborates was demonstrated to markedly exceed that of the standard mobile phase additives, like triethylamine, dimethyloctylamine and ammonia. The proposed new mobile phase additives were also demonstrated to provide reliable lipophilicity parameters of base drug analytes as determined by gradient mode of high-performance liquid chromatography. By applying the readily available and environmentally friendly imidazolium tetrafluoroborate ionic liquids, simple and efficient means of improvement of liquid chromatographic analysis of organic bases were elaborated.

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