Ion Chromatography (IC)
Ion Chromatography (IC) is a high-throughput and versatile technique for analytical laboratories and may be set up to analyze either positive or negative ions. Similar to HPLC, IC utilizes an ion’s intrinsic affinity for both an “eluent” (typically buffered water) and a “stationary phase” (porous solid support with charge-bearing functional groups).
Essentially, a pump is used to provide a continuous flow of a solvent into which a dissolved sample is introduced. Once the sample is in the solvent flow, it travels through an analytical column. The ions present in the sample mixture are then separated depending on their affinity to the column. After the components in the sample are separated, they pass through a conductivity detector. The detector response and the “retention time” (time it takes for a compound to pass from the injector to the detector) of the ion(s) of interest may then be compared to a reference material. The conductivity detector can detect organic and/or inorganic ions (either positive or negative) and may be customized to focus on a particular client needs.