Microbore columns: a contribution to green chemistry

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Available sample size, mass sensitivity, efficiency and the detector type are important criteria in the selection of separation column dimensions. Compared to conventional 4 mm i.d. columns, microbore columns excel, above all, by their low eluent consumption. Once an eluent is prepared, it can be used for a long time. Additionally, the lower flow rates of microbore columns facilitate the hyphenation to mass spectrometers due to the improved ionization efficiency in the ion source.With the same injected sample amount, a halved column diameter involves a lower eluent flow and results in an approximate four-fold sensitivity increase. In a converse conclusion, this means that with less sample amount, microbore columns achieve the same chromatographic sensitivity and resolution than normal bore columns. This makes them ideally suited for samples of limited availability.