Publication Date

Summer 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Joseph Pesek


capillary electrophoresis, FTIR microscopy, hydrosilation, microfluidic chips, silanization

Subject Areas

Analytical chemistry


Separation methods have been miniaturized in recent years. Capillary electrophoresis is now common and other types of analyses are being done on microfluidic chips with capillary channels in lieu of wider column diameters. The surfaces of the media used for separation are chemically modified. Using infrared spectroscopy by a microscope attachment, attempts were made to characterize the surfaces of both capillary channels and modified polymer for microfluidic chips. FTIR microscopy is not common in this type of analysis and is normally used to analyze particles, such as fibers, paint, and other polymer sources. Since modification of miniaturized chemical media is done on a microscopic scale, the FTIR microscope seemed promising for the detection of these changes. However, there was great difficulty in detecting the target material against the background material. Thus, micro-infrared spectroscopy is not an ideal method for characterizing modified separation media, despite its ability to sample small areas. Additionally, a novel medium for microfluidic chips, a material made of polymethylhydrosiloxane (PMHS), was described. PMHS has an advantage over other chip media in that the surface can be chemically modified, similar to capillary electrophoresis.