This paper presents the synthesis and evaluation of a carbon molecular sieve membrane (CMSM) grown inside a MEMS-fabricated μ-preconcentrator for sampling highly volatile organic compounds. An array of µ-pillars measuring 100 µm in diameter and 250 µm in height were fabricated inside a microfluidic channel to increase the attaching surface for the CMSM. The surface area of the CMSM was measured as high as 899 m2/g. A GC peak amplification factor >2 × 104 was demonstrated with gaseous ethyl acetate. Up to 1.4 L of gaseous ethanol at the 100 ppb level could be concentrated without exceeding the capacity of this microchip device. Sharp desorption chromatographic peaks (<3.5 s) were obtained while using this device directly as a GC injector. Less volatile compounds such as gaseous toluene, m-xylene, and mesitylene appeared to be adsorbed strongly on CMSM, showing a memory effect. Sampling parameters such as sample volatilities, sampling capacities, and compound residual issues were empirically determined and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas