Separations of various tetracycline mixtures by high-performance capillary electrophoresis (HPCE) and a new form of electrochromatography (CEC) are compared. The new CEC method involves etching the inner wall of the capillary surface with an appropriate reagent (ammonium dihydrogen fluoride) in order to produce a significant increase in surface area. The etched surface is then modified by a silation/hydrosilation reaction sequence to first produce a hydride intermediate which is then further reacted to attach a C18 moiety. The bare and hydride capillaries are tested under HPCE conditions while the C18 capillary functions in the CEC mode. The effects of pH and the presence of an organic modifier (methanol) are also studied. Detection limits (<10 μg/ml) are comparable to previous HPLC and HPCE results. Resolutions for mixtures which simulate real analytical problems are equal to or better than those reported for separations on polymeric and diol columns by HPLC and in earlier studies by HPCE and MECC.
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