Analytica Chimica Acta (v.931, #C)

Novel column technologies involving various materials and efficient reactions have been investigated for the fabrication of monolithic capillary columns in the field of analytical chemistry. In addition to the development of these miniaturized systems, a variety of microscale separation applications have achieved noteworthy results, providing a stepping stone for new types of chromatographic columns with improved efficiency and selectivity. Three novel strategies for the preparation of capillary monoliths, including ionic liquid-based approaches, nanoparticle-based approaches and “click chemistry”, are highlighted in this review. Furthermore, we present the employment of state-of-the-art capillary monolithic stationary phases for enantioseparation, solid-phase microextraction, mixed-mode separation and immobilized enzyme reactors. The review concludes with recommendations for future studies and improvements in this field of research.Display Omitted
Keywords: Capillary monolith; Click chemistry; Complex sample; Enantioseparation; Ionic liquid; Nanoparticle;

In this study, preparation of novel pH-sensitive N-doped carbon dots (NCDs) using glucose and urea is reported. The prepared NCDs present strong excitation-dependent fluorescence changes towards the pH that is a new behavior from these nanomaterials. By taking advantage of this unique behavior, two separated ratiometric pH sensors using emission spectra of the NCDs for both acidic (pH 2.0 to 8.0) and basic (pH 7.0 to 14.0) ranges of pH are constructed. Additionally, by considering the entire Excitation–Emission Matrix (EEM) of NCDs as analytical signal and using a suitable multivariate calibration method, a broad range of pH from 2.0 to 14.0 was well calibrated. The multivariate calibration method was independent from the concentration of NCDs and resulted in a very low average prediction error of 0.067 pH units. No changes in the predicted pH under UV irradiation (for 3 h) and at high ionic strength (up to 2 M NaCl) indicated the high stability of this pH nanosensor. The practicality of this pH nanosensor for pH determination in real water samples was validated with good accuracy and repeatability.Display Omitted
Keywords: Carbon dots; pH sensing; Ratiometric sensors; Multivariate calibration; Fluorescence;

Hybrid approach combining chemometrics and likelihood ratio framework for reporting the evidential value of spectra by Agnieszka Martyna; Grzegorz Zadora; Tereza Neocleous; Aleksandra Michalska; Nema Dean (34-46).
Many chemometric tools are invaluable and have proven effective in data mining and substantial dimensionality reduction of highly multivariate data. This becomes vital for interpreting various physicochemical data due to rapid development of advanced analytical techniques, delivering much information in a single measurement run. This concerns especially spectra, which are frequently used as the subject of comparative analysis in e.g. forensic sciences. In the presented study the microtraces collected from the scenarios of hit-and-run accidents were analysed. Plastic containers and automotive plastics (e.g. bumpers, headlamp lenses) were subjected to Fourier transform infrared spectrometry and car paints were analysed using Raman spectroscopy. In the forensic context analytical results must be interpreted and reported according to the standards of the interpretation schemes acknowledged in forensic sciences using the likelihood ratio approach. However, for proper construction of LR models for highly multivariate data, such as spectra, chemometric tools must be employed for substantial data compression. Conversion from classical feature representation to distance representation was proposed for revealing hidden data peculiarities and linear discriminant analysis was further applied for minimising the within-sample variability while maximising the between-sample variability. Both techniques enabled substantial reduction of data dimensionality. Univariate and multivariate likelihood ratio models were proposed for such data. It was shown that the combination of chemometric tools and the likelihood ratio approach is capable of solving the comparison problem of highly multivariate and correlated data after proper extraction of the most relevant features and variance information hidden in the data structure.Display Omitted
Keywords: Dimension reduction; Likelihood ratio; Infrared and Raman spectroscopy; Polymer; Car paint; Forensic science;

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic and electrochemical impedance spectroscopic analysis of RuO2-Ta2O5 thick film pH sensors by Libu Manjakkal; Katarina Cvejin; Jan Kulawik; Krzysztof Zaraska; Robert P. Socha; Dorota Szwagierczak (47-56).
The paper reports on investigation of the pH sensing mechanism of thick film RuO2-Ta2O5 sensors by using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Interdigitated conductimetric pH sensors were screen printed on alumina substrates. The microstructure and elemental composition of the films were examined by scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. The XPS studies revealed the presence of Ru ions at different oxidation states and the surface hydroxylation of the sensing layer increasing with increasing pH. The EIS analysis carried out in the frequency range 10 Hz–2 MHz showed that the electrical parameters of the sensitive electrodes in the low frequency range were distinctly dependent on pH. The charge transfer and ionic exchange occurring at metal oxide-solution interface were indicated as processes responsible for the sensing mechanism of thick film RuO2-Ta2O5 pH sensors.Display Omitted
Keywords: Conductimetric pH sensor; Screen printing; Ion sensitive electrode; RuO2-Ta2O5; X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy; Impedance spectroscopy;

In this study, the potential for carbonaceous nanomaterials to be used as adsorbents for the mixed matrix membrane (MMM) microextraction and preconcentration of organic pollutants was demonstrated. For this method, multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and single layer graphene (SLG) nanoparticles were individually incorporated through dispersion in a cellulose triacetate (CTA) polymer matrix to form a MWCNT-MMM and SLG-MMM, respectively. The prepared membranes were evaluated for the extraction of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) present in sewage pond water samples. The extraction was performed by dipping a small piece of membrane (7 mm × 7 mm) in a stirred 7.5 mL sample solution to initiate the analyte adsorption. This step was followed by an analyte desorption into 60 μL of methanol prior to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. When the optimum SLG-MMM microextraction technique was applied to spiked sewage pond water samples, the detection limit of the method for the PAHs were in the range of 0.02–0.09 ng/mL, with relative standard deviations of between 1.4% and 7.8%. Enrichment factors of 54–100 were achieved with relative recoveries of 99%–101%. A comparison was also made between the proposed approach and standard solid phase extraction using polymeric bonded octadecyl (C18) cartridges.Display Omitted
Keywords: Carbon nanotubes; Graphene; Sample preparation; Mixed matrix membrane; Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon;

Low cost and compact analytical microsystem for carbon dioxide determination in production processes of wine and beer by Antonio Calvo-López; Oriol Ymbern; David Izquierdo; Julián Alonso-Chamarro (64-69).
The design, construction and evaluation of a low cost, cyclic olefin copolymer (COC)-based continuous flow microanalyzer, with optical detection, to monitor carbon dioxide in bottled wines and beers as well as in fermentation processes, is presented. The microsystem, constructed by computer numerically controlled (CNC) micromilling and using a multilayer approach, integrates microfluidics, gas-diffusion module and an optical flow-cell in a single polymeric substrate. Its size is slightly bigger than a credit card, exactly 45 × 60 × 4 mm in the microfluidic and diffusion module zone and 22.5 × 40 × 3 mm in the flow-cell zone. The gas-diffusion module is based on a hydrophobic polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, which allows the transfer of the carbon dioxide present in the sample to a bromothymol blue (BTB) pH-sensitive acceptor solution, where the color change is measured optically. The detection system consisted of a LED with an emission peak at 607 nm and a photodiode integrated in a printed circuit board (PCB). The obtained analytical features after the optimization of the microfluidic platform and hydrodynamic variables are a linear range from 255 to 10000 mg L−1 of CO2 and a detection limit of 83 mg L−1 with a sampling rate of 30 samples h−1.Display Omitted
Keywords: Lab on a chip; Cyclic olefin co-polymer; Miniaturization; Gas-diffusion; Carbon dioxide; Optical detection;