<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >


The oven, as referenced before, exists to heat the mobile phase to its desired temperature. In the case of SFC, the desired temperature is always the critical temperature of the supercritical fluid. These ovens are precisely controlled and standard across SFC, HPLC, and GC.


As suggested by its name, the restrictor aims to restrict the flow through the columns. In altering the flow, the speed at which the sample elutes, the resolution at which it elutes, and the properties of the supercritical fluid can be altered, thus allowing for each SFC column to be tailored to the sample in question.


So far, there has been one largely overlooked component of the SFC machine: the detector. Technically not a part of the chromatographic separation process, the detector still plays an important role: identifying the components of the solution. While the SFC aims to separate components with good resolution (high purity, no other components mixed in), the detector aims to define what each of these components is made of.

The two detectors most often found on SFC instruments are either flame ionization detectors (FID) or mass spectrometers (MS):

  • FIDs operate through ionizing the sample in a hydrogen-powered flame. By doing so, they produce charged particles, which hit electrodes, and the particles are subsequently quantified and identified.
  • MS operates through creating an ionized spray of the sample, and then separating the ions based on a mass/charge ratio. The mass/charge ratio is plotted against ion abundance and creates a “fingerprint” for the chemical identified. This chemical fingerprint is then matched against a database to isolate which compound it was. This can be done for each unique elution, rendering the SFC even more useful than if it were standing alone.


Generally speaking, samples need little preparation. The only major requirement is that it dissolves in a solvent less polar than methanol: it must have a dielectric constant lower than 33, since CO 2 has a low polarity and cannot easily elute polar samples. To combat this, modifiers are added to the mobile phase.

Stationary phase

The stationary phase is a neutral compound that acts as a source of “friction” for certain molecules in the sample as they slide through the column. Silica attracts polar molecules and thus the molecules attach strongly, holding until enough of the mobile phase has passed through to attract them away. The combination of the properties in the stationary phase and the mobile phase help determine the resolution and speed of the experiment.

Mobile phase

The mobile phase (the supercritical fluid) pushes the sample through the column and elutes separate, pure, samples. This is where the supercritical fluid’s properties of high density, high diffusivity, and low viscosity come into play. With these three properties, the mobile phase is able to adequately interact with the sample, quickly push through it, and strongly plow through the sample to separate it out. The mobile phase also partly determines how it separates out: it will first carry out similar molecules, ones with similar polarities, and follow gradually with molecules with larger polarities.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
advantages of NAA
Sai Reply
how I can reaction of mercury?
Sham Reply

Get the best Physical methods in ch... course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Physical methods in chemistry and nano science. OpenStax CNX. May 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col10699/1.21
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Physical methods in chemistry and nano science' conversation and receive update notifications?