Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce R. McCord

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

José R. Almirall

Third Advisor's Name

Yong Cai

Fourth Advisor's Name

David C. Chatfield

Fifth Advisor's Name

Deodutta Roy


capillary electrophoresis, phenethylamines, fluorescence detection, derivatization, amphetamines

Date of Defense



Despite the ongoing “war on drugs” the seizure rates for phenethylamines and their analogues have been steadily increasing over the years. The illicit manufacture of these compounds has become big business all over the world making it all the more attractive to the inexperienced “cook”. However, as a result, the samples produced are more susceptible to contamination with reactionary byproducts and leftover reagents. These impurities are useful in the analysis of seized drugs as their identities can help to determine the synthetic pathway used to make these drugs and thus, the provenance of these analytes. In the present work two fluorescent dyes, 4-fluoro-7-nitrobenzofurazan and 5-(4,6-dichlorotriazinyl)aminofluorescein, were used to label several phenethylamine analogues for electrophoretic separation with laser-induced fluorescence detection.

The large scale to which law enforcement is encountering these compounds has the potential to create a tremendous backlog. In order to combat this, a rapid, sensitive method capable of full automation is required. Through the utilization of the inline derivatization method developed whereby analytes are labeled within the capillary efficiently in a minimum span of time, this can be achieved. The derivatization and separation parameters were optimized on the basis of a variety of experimentally determined factors in order to give highly resolved peaks in the fluorescence spectrum with limits of detection in the low µg/mL range.





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