• Why use capillary ion chromatography?
    Capillary Ion Chromatography (IC) System.


Why use capillary ion chromatography?

Oct 02 2013

Increasing productivity has become a critical benchmarking metric as laboratories look to operate at near top efficiency within available resources. Capillary ion chromatography (IC) takes performance and ease-of-use to a whole new level, simplifying ion chromatography analyses while increasing throughput. By scaling down column size, injection volumes, and flow rates by a factor of 10 to 100, Capillary IC provides excellent eluent and waste economy, small sample requirements, and high mass sensitivity.

Benefits of Capillary Ion Chromatography include:

Reduced Operating Time

In Capillary IC only 15 mL of water a day is consumed, translating into 5.2 L a year due to the low flow rates of 10 µL/min. As a result, the system can operate with continuous eluent flow, eliminating the need to wait for equilibration.

Costs of Ownership

Waste production is dramatically minimised which reduces disposal costs. When operated as a Reagent-free Ion Chromatography™ (RFIC™) system, the Eluent Generation Cartridge lasts for 18 months under continuous operate mode. This allows maintenance costs to be nominal as the Eluent Generation Cartridge uses water as an eluent, and results in less frequent replacement of pump seals. On a unrelated but important side note, the ability to electrolytically generate the eluent results in accurate and precise eluent delivery, preventing variations typically found in manual eluent preparation.

Faster Time to Results

Capillary IC allows for lower flow rates by optimising column dimensions (i.d. 0.4 mm). The typical flow rate is only 1/100th the eluent flow rate of standard bore format. Standard bore column formats typically run at flow rates of 1 mL/min. Due to the smaller cross-sectional area, the flow rate on a capillary format can be scaled down to 10 µL/min. In capillary IC, the flow rates can be increased up to 3 times, or 30 µL/min.

Improved Sensitivity

The combination of a first-dimension standard bore column (i.d. 4 mm) with a second-dimension capillary column (i.d. 0.4 mm) permits lower detection limits in the low ng/L range.

The Thermo Scientific™ Dionex™ ICS-5000+ and Dionex ICS-4000 HPIC™ Systems are the world’s first capillary ion chromatography (IC) systems on the market. The Dionex ICS-5000+ operates at standard bore, microbore and capillary flow rates at pressures up to 5000 psi enabling it to also perform high-resolution and fast IC analysis with the latest 4 μm particle-size columns. On the other hand, the Dionex ICS-4000 capillary HPIC system is solely dedicated to Capillary IC. This system boasts all of the benefits of Capillary IC discussed, including high-pressure capabilities for high chromatographic resolution. Furthermore, all the Dionex ICS-5000+ and ICS-4000 systems are designed to be compatible with small particle IC columns. These columns aid in facilitating separations up to four times faster than conventional columns.

Learn more about the latest advancements and innovations IC by visiting our Advancement in Ion Chromatography Resource Center where you can access free application notes, on-demand webinars, customer case studies, expert interviews and much more.

Digital Edition

ILM 49.5 July

July 2024

Chromatography Articles - Understanding PFAS: Analysis and Implications Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy Articles - MS detection of Alzheimer’s blood-based biomarkers LIMS - Essent...

View all digital editions


ADLM 2024

Jul 28 2024 San Diego, CA USA

InaLab 2024

Jul 30 2024 Jakarta, Indonesia


Jul 31 2024 Chengdu, China

ACS National Meeting - Fall 2024

Aug 18 2024 Denver, CO, USA


Aug 25 2024 Copenhagen, Denmark

View all events