This study investigates effects of the electrolyte, of acidic and basic compounds, and of pH on the rotational and conformational order of octadecylsilane stationary phases with surface coverages of 3.09 and 6.45 μmol/m2. Both phases exhibit an increase in alkyl chain rotational and conformational order in 5-200 mM aqueous electrolyte solutions relative to water. These stationary phases are effectively "salted-out" of aqueous electrolyte solutions, thereby causing alkyl chain intermolecular interactions to increase with a concomitant increase in alkyl chain order. Although the presence of acidic and basic compounds generally has no effect on the conformational order of either stationary phase as a function of pH, the higher coverage stationary phase does exhibit pH-dependent changes in aqueous solutions of benzoic acid. At pH values below the pK a of benzoic acid, the conformational order of this stationary phase is unchanged relative to that observed in the same pH solution in the absence of benzoic acid. In light of independent evidence that such monosubstituted aromatics interact with the octadecylsilane stationary phase under these conditions, the absence of a measurable effect on alkyl chain order for these conditions is attributed to benzoic acid self-association at the stationary phase-mobile phase interface. In contrast, at pH values above the pK a of benzoic acid, slight disordering of the alkyl chains is observed and is attributed to repulsive interactions between retained benzoate anions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry