Date of Award


Degree Type

Closed Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Shahab A. Shamsi - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Gabor Patonay

Third Advisor

Dr. Jenny J. Yang


The research presented in this dissertation involves the development of chiral and achiral analysis using capillary electrochromatography (CEC) and CEC coupled to mass spectrometry (CEC-MS). Chapter 1 briefly reviews CEC fundamentals and latest development on chiral CEC and CEC-MS. The CEC-UV enantioseparations for several acidic compounds are described in Chapter 2. The optimum resolutions for these acidic enantiomers are achieved in ion-suppression mode, i.e. with an acidic mobile phase. One of major drawback in coupling CEC with MS is the bubble formation at the column outlet end, resulting in irreproducible retention time and erratic baseline, or even current breakdown. By introducing internal tapered columns, the aforementioned limitations of CEC-MS are successfully overcome in Chapter 3. The CEC-MS enantioseparation of warfarin and coumachlor is carefully investigated and applied to quantify R- and S-warfarin in human plasma. For individual enantiomers, a concentration of 25 ng/mL is detectable. To further improve the robustness of CEC-MS column, a new procedure of fabricating internal tapered columns is reported in Chapter 4. These internal tapered columns demonstrate excellent ruggedness, low background noise, and good compatibility in reversed-phase and polar organic modes of CEC-MS. In chapter 5, the feasibility of using internal tapered columns packed with vancomycin chiral stationary phase (CSP) is explored for simultaneous enantioseparation of eight â-blockers using CEC-MS. After a careful optimization of the mobile phase composition, sheath liquid and spray chamber parameter, 15 out of 16 enantiomers could be simultaneously resolved with excellent efficiency and detection sensitivity. The synthesis and characterization of sulfated and sulfonated cellulose phenylcarbamate CSPs is described in Chapter 6. The use of these CSPs, especially the sulfonated one, significantly enhances the EOF profile and sample throughput but maintain high enantiomeric resolving power under various modes of CEC and CEC-MS. By combining CEC and atmospheric pressure photo-ionization (APPI) MS, Chapter 7 demonstrates the separation and detection of mono-methylated benzo[a]pyrene (MBAP) isomers with ~100 times enhancement on detection sensitivity than CEC-UV. In Appedix 2, monolithic columns are synthesized through photopolymerized sol-gel approach and utilized for CEC and CEC-APPI-MS of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and alkyl phenyl ketones.