In-tube solid-phase microextraction (IT-SPME) coupled on-line to miniaturized liquid chromatography (LC) has emerged as a powerful tool to address a variety of analytical problems. However, in order to expand its applicability, the development of new sorbents that enhance the efficiency and specificity of the extraction is highly desirable. In this respect, the employment of capillary columns coated with sorbents functionalized with nanoparticles (NPs) replacing the loop of the injection valve (in-valve IT-SPME) is one of the most attractive options. In this work, polymers of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and trimethoxyethylsilane (MTEOS) modified with SiO2
NPs have been synthetized and used for the extraction of a variety of water pollutants, using both Capillary-LC and Nano-LC. Compounds with different chemical structures and polarities such as the artificial sweetener saccharine, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) naphthalene and fluoranthene, and some phenylurea and organophosphorous herbicides have been used as target analytes. The extraction efficiencies found with the synthetized capillaries have been compared to those obtained with commercially available capillaries coated with polydiphenyl-polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), nitroterephthalic acid modified polyetilenglicol (FFAP), and polystyrene-divinylbenzene (PS-DVB) phases. The results obtained in this preliminary study showed that, although PS-DVB phase has the strongest affinity for compounds with two or more aromatic rings, the extraction with TEOS-MTEOS coatings modified with NPs is the best option for a majority of the tested compounds. Examples of application are given.
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