Four cholesterol bonded phases with different structures were investigated. The columns studied were packed with stationary phase containing cholesterol attached to the silica surface using different types of linkage molecules. The presence of the polar amino and carboxyl groups in the structure of the bonded ligand strongly influence on the solvation process. The possibility of hydrogen bonding, dipole–dipole and π–π electron interactions lead to preferential solvation of bonded ligands. The coverage density of bonded ligands and length of the linkage strongly influence the adsorption of solvent from the mobile phase. The removal of residual silanols during the hydrosilation procedure significantly influences solvation of the bonded phase. Excess isotherms of the commonly used solvents in RP HPLC (methanol and acetonitrile) were obtained using the minor disturbance method. For comparison of the stationary phases prepared on different silica gels the excess adsorbed amounts were calculated per volume of the stationary phase in the column. The hydrosilated UDC Cholesterol bonded phase is preferentially solvated by methanol whereas the highest coverage Cosmosil Cholester phase exhibit high adsorption of acetonitrile. Polar groups in the Amino-cholesterol type bonded phase are solvated with both solvent but the mechanisms of these processes are different.
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