Dead-Volume: The Thing of UHPLC Nightmares and How to Prevent It

Guest Author: Genevieve Hodson – Technical Expert

Do you lay awake at night thinking about trying to minimize the amount of dead volume in your LC system? Oh, you do? Well then, I am glad that you have found this article because we have a product for you! Extra dead-volume can be the thing of nightmares for your chromatography if not properly minimized in your LC system. So, let us face our fears together and defeat dead-volume with Phenomenex new finger tight connection solution—SecurityLINKs!

Often when using the standard HPLC column dimensions of 150 x 4.6 mm with a 5 µm particle you don’t notice all the dreadful extra dead-volume you are letting live in the system. But when you begin to lower the internal diameter of the column as well as the particle size, this hiding dead volume rears its ugly head in the form of poor asymmetry. One of the easiest places where extra dead volume can be minimized is in column connections. With traditional stainless steel tubing, once the ferrule has been swedged or bound to the tubing it cannot be adjusted and is permanent (Figure 1). The study below shows how an improperly swedged ferrule can cause major issues with regards to your chromatography compared to a zero dead volume connection.

Let’s talk column hardware. It’s a known issue that not all column inlet depths are created equal. Literally, different columns from different vendors have different inlet depths. You can see how this would become an issue if you were attempting to minimize your dead-volume to improve your chromatography but employ columns with varying column inlet depths for your many methods. It would be crazy to think that you would keep a set of stainless steel tubes, one for each vendors column, to ensure the best results. With SecurityLINK systems, no collection is needed. SecurityLINK connections can adjust to the length of the tubing to fit any columns inlet. The study below shows the same SecurityLINK employed on the same system only altering what column was run. Another vendor’s zero dead-volume connection system is used for performance comparison.

Now here is the part where SecurityLINK tubing becomes the thing of dreams, well at least a chromotographer’s dreams. On top of providing the correct depth every time, SecurityLINK tubing also has the added feature of clicking when you have reached the proper torque during installation. This prevents possible over tightening and allows you to free your mind from worrying if you have tightened your tubing enough to ensure no leaking will occur when your method changes over to a new higher pressure one in the middle of the night during your overnight sequence of a bajillion important samples…oh sorry, just re-living bad memories.

Press play on the video below to see for yourself just how simple SecurityLINKs are to install:

So, if you are looking for an easy care-free way to ensure that you will have a flush seal between your tubing and any column you employ than SecurityLINK connections are the product for you!

To learn more about Phenomenex SecurityLINK products, click the following link: CLICK HERE

You can also check out our full technical application “Conventional Low Volume Stainless Steel Tubing Connection Compared to Stainless Steel Zero Dead-Volume”

Conventional low volume stainless steel tubing connection compared to stainless steal zero dead-volume securityLINK connection.

If you found this article helpful, then you will definitely want to check out: “Tips to Maintain HPLC/UHPLC Systems and Improve Column Longevity.”

If you have any questions about the above information please reach out to our Technical Experts via Live Chat, 24/7. You might even get to chat with Genevieve herself!

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