Stuart Phillips, LC/LCMS business manager at Shimadzu UK, explores the company’s recent innovations in liquid chromatography.
UHPLC was historically defined by performance requirements driven by sub 2µm particles.
Initially, instruments were developed which could produce the pressures required to work with these particles, with 1000 Bar common.
With reductions of particle sizes down to 1.6µm, Shimadzu’s Nexera is capable of 1300Bar to meet this and future requirements.
UHPLC was developing naturally along this path until fused-core particles were revisited and their performance benefits were re-discovered.
Much of the design and engineering innovation is hidden from the chromatographer
As a result of the recent developments in superficially porous particles, instrumentation with much lower pressure limits back in to the classical HPLC realm has become capable of “UHPLC” separations.
2.7µm particles are offering chromatography with performance akin to the sub-2µm realm.
Shimadzu offers a range of HPLC systems suited to these columns including our Prominence and LC-2010 systems.
660 Bar systems such as Shimadzu’s Prominence XR range, allow strong performance with 2.2µm particles. Superficially porous particles have also migrated to the sub-2µm realm, to give chromatographers the ultimate in performance.
As can be seen from above, there is innovation from column manufacturers in both stationary phase size and also in selectivity.
This has been matched by manufacturers making HPLC and UHPLC simpler, more reliable and more flexible in use.
Much of the design and engineering innovation is hidden from the chromatographer.
For example, simplicity can come from low autosampler carryover, which can be enabled by innovations in needle coating technology.
It can also come from solvent delivery precision. With their low volume, Shimadzu’s Nexera pumps have the most precise solvent delivery and lowest ripple designed in from the beginning.
The newly launched Shimadzu Nexera Quaternary system has been designed to allow conversion to one of a pair of binary pumps, or to allow an existing Nexera pump to be converted to the Quaternary Nexera pump. In this way the customer maintains maximum flexibility within their fleet of Nexera UHPLC systems.
Interesting developments are following thanks to the modular focus. This allows the easy development of LCxLC (GCxGC) and LCxGC systems for the ultimate in chromatographic performance.