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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

Nano-Doped Monolithic Materials for Molecular Separation

Curtin Sarawak Research Institute, Curtin University, Sarawak 98009, Malaysia
Department of Chemical Engineering, Curtin University, Sarawak 98009, Malaysia
Biotechnology Research Institute, University Malaysia Sabah, Sabah 88400, Malaysia
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Centre for Chemistry and Biotechnology, Deakin University (Waurn Ponds Campus), Geelong 3220, Australia
Department of Food Science, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Department of Civil Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Suzhou 215123, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zuzana Zajickova
Separations 2017, 4(1), 2;
Received: 4 November 2016 / Revised: 11 December 2016 / Accepted: 18 December 2016 / Published: 1 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monolithic Columns in Separation Sciences)
PDF [1419 KB, uploaded 1 January 2017]


Monoliths are continuous adsorbents that can easily be synthesised to possess tuneable meso-/macropores, convective fluid transport, and a plethora of chemistries for ligand immobilisation. They are grouped into three main classes: organic, inorganic, and hybrid, based on their chemical composition. These classes may also be differentiated by their unique morphological and physicochemical properties which are significantly relevant to their specific separation applications. The potential applications of monoliths for molecular separation have created the need to enhance their characteristic properties including mechanical strength, electrical conductivity, and chemical and thermal stability. An effective approach towards monolith enhancement has been the doping and/or hybridization with miniaturized molecular species of desirable functionalities and characteristics. Nanoparticles are usually preferred as dopants due to their high solid phase dispersion features which are associated with improved intermolecular adsorptive interactions. Examples of such nanomaterials include, but are not limited to, carbon-based, silica-based, gold-based, and alumina nanoparticles. The incorporation of these nanoparticles into monoliths via in situ polymerisation and/or post-modification enhances surface adsorption for activation and ligand immobilisation. Herein, insights into the performance enhancement of monoliths as chromatographic supports by nanoparticles doping are presented. In addition, the potential and characteristics of less common nanoparticle materials such as hydroxyapatite, ceria, hafnia, and germania are discussed. The advantages and challenges of nanoparticle doping of monoliths are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: monoliths; nanoparticles; copolymerisation; surface modification; doping monoliths; nanoparticles; copolymerisation; surface modification; doping

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Acquah, C.; Obeng, E.M.; Agyei, D.; Ongkudon, C.M.; Moy, C.K.S.; Danquah, M.K. Nano-Doped Monolithic Materials for Molecular Separation. Separations 2017, 4, 2.

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