Raman spectroscopy is used to investigate the effects of temperature, surface coverage, polymerization method (surface or solution polymerized), and nature of the alkylsilane precursor on alkyl chain conformational order in a series of high-density docosylsilane (C22) stationary phases at surface coverages ranging from 3.61 to 6.97 μmol/m2. The results of this study contribute to an enhanced understanding of the shape-selective retention characteristics of these phases at a molecular level. Conformational order is evaluated using the intensity ratio of the antisymmetric and symmetric v(CH2) modes as well as the frequency at which these modes are observed. Alkyl chain order is shown to be dependent on surface coverage, alkyl chain length, and polymerization method. In general, alkyl chain order increases with surface coverage. Temperature-induced changes are observed between 250 and 350 K for the three phases with surface coverages between 3.61 and 4.89 μmol/m2. These changes occur over a broad range of temperatures characteristic of two-dimensional systems, but in general adhere to the behavior predicted for a simple first-order transition. This change is not believed to be an abrupt cooperative disassociation characteristic of a phase transition in a bulk phase, but instead is thought to involve significant changes in conformational order in segments of the surface-tethered molecules, mostly those segments at the outer edge of the alkylsilane. In contrast to the changes observed in coverages below 5 μmol/m2, a first-order change is not observed for the stationary phase with coverage of 6.97 μmol/m2. A molecular picture of the temperature-induced disorder is proposed with disorder originating at the distal carbon and propagating only a short distance toward the proximal carbon. A comparison is made between these C22 stationary phases and similar high-density octadecylsilane (C18) bonded phases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry