Ph.D. Dissertation Defense by Hongseok "Moses" Noh
Friday, March 26, 2004

( Dr. Peter J. Hesketh, Chair)

"Parylene Microcolumn for Miniature Gas Chromatograph"

Abstract

Several miniature analytic systems, the so called ‘Lab-on-a-chip’ are being developed through the use of microfabrication technologies. This research contributes to worldwide efforts to miniaturize one of the most powerful and versatile analytical tools, gas chromatography (GC). If a rapid, sensitive and selective hand-held GC system is realized, it could be used for the field detection in diverse areas. For instance, it can be used for the detection of chemical and biological warfare agents and explosives.

The most important and largest component of a GC system that need to be miniaturized are the separation column and convection oven. This thesis describes the development of a miniature separation column that has low thermal mass and an embedded heating element for rapid thermal cycling. The world’s first thin film (parylene) GC column has been designed, fabricated, and successfully evaluated. This presentation will include the development of a new process for parylene microcolumn fabrication, theoretical analysis of column performance and design optimization, fabrication of a miniature parylene GC column with an embedded heating element, and the evaluation of the GC column.