As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments of the invention are directed to TLC plates, methods of using such TLC plates in chromatography, and related methods of manufacture in which a plurality of elongated stationary phase structures are formed and affixed to a substrate without the use of a separate binder. The elimination of the use of any binder may prevent unwanted secondary interactions, as well as improve separation efficiency.
"In an embodiment, a method for manufacturing a TLC plate is disclosed. The method includes forming a catalyst layer over a substrate. A layer of elongated nanostructures (e.g., carbon nanotubes) is then formed over the catalyst layer. The elongated nanostructures so formed are then primed by at least partially coating the elongated nanostructures with one or more adhesion priming layers that promote subsequent deposition and adhesion of a coating that includes a stationary phase or precursor of a stationary phase for use in chromatography. The stationary phase coating or precursor thereof is then deposited on the one or more adhesion priming layers. The coating adheres to the one or more adhesion priming layers to a greater degree than the coating would adhere to the elongated nanostructures without the one or more adhesion priming layers. In some embodiments, after depositing the coating, the elongated nanostructures may be at least partially removed.
"In an embodiment, a TLC plate is disclosed. The TLC plate includes a substrate, one or more residual priming adhesion layers disposed over the substrate that remain once elongate nanostructures have been at least partially removed, and a plurality of stationary phase structures that extend longitudinally away from the substrate. At least a portion of the plurality of stationary phase structures exhibits an elongated geometry and is substantially free of carbon nanotubes ('CNTs') used as templates for forming the stationary phase structures thereon. In an embodiment, the plurality of stationary phase structures is arranged on the substrate in a selected pattern. The stationary phase structure (e.g., a silica material) may further include a plurality of silanol groups bonded thereto which provide a functionalized surface for enhanced separation performance. Silane groups (e.g., an amino silane or an octadecyl silane) may also be bonded to the stationary phase structure surface for improved performance.
"In an embodiment, a method of performing chromatography is disclosed. The method includes providing a TLC plate including a substrate, one or more residual priming adhesion layers disposed over the substrate that remain once elongate nanostructures (and any carbon adhesion priming layer(s)) have been oxidized away, and a plurality of stationary phase structures extending longitudinally away from the substrate. At least a portion of the plurality of stationary phase structures exhibits an elongated geometry. The method further includes applying a sample to be analyzed to the plurality of stationary phase structures of the TLC plate, and drawing a mobile phase through the plurality of stationary phase structures having the sample applied thereto. The different components of the sample may be separated as the mobile phase and the sample interact with the TLC plate.
"Features from any of the disclosed embodiments may be used in combination with one another, without limitation. In addition, other features and advantages of the present disclosure will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art through consideration of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.
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