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Ultra-thin layer chromatography (UTLC) is a growing field in analytical separations. UTLC is a branch of planar and liquid chromatography that is related to thin layer chromatography. The main advantage of UTLC compared to other techniques is it uses much less material, allowing for faster and more sensitive separations to take place. The UTLC devices fabricated in this project used either silicon oxide or silicon nanopillars deposited on a glass slide using glancing angle deposition (GLAD). Even a thin layer of these nanopillars deposited on a glass slide provide a large surface area for the analyte to be separated. GLAD is a physical vapor deposition technique that allows, in this case, silicon oxide or silicon to be vaporized by an ion source and deposited in slanted pillar structures onto a glass substrate.
The overall goal of this thesis is to develop and optimize a nanomaterial support/stationary phase for a UTLC device that can be utilized for affinity chromatography. The studies performed in this thesis provide proof-of-concept that SiO2 nanopillars can perform efficient separations and that protein can also be immobilized onto the surface of the nanopillars. With further studies, protein immobilization can be fully optimized and affinity separations performed on these UTLC devices.
Advisor: David Hage