Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce R. McCord

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

Third Advisor's Name

David C. Chatfield

Fourth Advisor's Name

Chenzhong Li

Fifth Advisor's Name

J. Martin E. Quirke


Capillary Electrophoresis (CE), Capillary Electrochromatography (CEC), Capillary Electrophoresis Mass Spectrometry (CE-MS), Monolith, in situ polymerization, Chiral Separation, Cyclodextrin (CD), Antidepressants, Cathinones (Bath Salts), Microcystins

Date of Defense



Capillary electrophoresis (CE) is a modern analytical technique, which is electrokinetic separation generated by high voltage and taken place inside the small capillaries. In this dissertation, several advanced capillary electrophoresis methods are presented using different approaches of CE and UV and mass spectrometry are utilized as the detection methods.

Capillary electrochromatography (CEC), as one of the CE modes, is a recent developed technique which is a hybrid of capillary electrophoresis and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Capillary electrochromatography exhibits advantages of both techniques. In Chapter 2, monolithic capillary column are fabricated using in situ photoinitiation polymerization method. The column was then applied for the separation of six antidepressant compounds.

Meanwhile, a simple chiral separation method is developed and presented in Chapter 3. Beta cycodextrin was utilized to achieve the goal of chiral separation. Not only twelve cathinone analytes were separated, but also isomers of several analytes were enantiomerically separated. To better understand the molecular information on the analytes, the TOF-MS system was coupled with the CE. A sheath liquid and a partial filling technique (PFT) were employed to reduce the contamination of MS ionization source. Accurate molecular information was obtained.

It is necessary to propose, develop, and optimize new techniques that are suitable for trace-level analysis of samples in forensic, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications. Capillary electrophoresis (CE) was selected for this task, as it requires lower amounts of samples, it simplifies sample preparation, and it has the flexibility to perform separations of neutral and charged molecules as well as enantiomers.

Overall, the study demonstrates the versatility of capillary electrophoresis methods in forensic, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.





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