A novel solid-phase microextraction using coated fiber based sol-gel technique using poly(ethylene glycol) grafted multi-walled carbon nanotubes for determination of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and o-xylene in water samples with gas chromatography-flame ionization detector.J Chromatogr A. 2011 Aug 26; 1218(34):5757-64.JC
In this study, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) grafted onto multi-walled carbon nanotubes (PEG-g-MWCNTs) were synthesized by the covalent functionalization of MWCNTs with hydroxyl-terminated PEG chains. For the first time, functionalized product of PEG-g-MWCNTs was used as selective stationary phase to prepare the sol-gel solid-phase microextraction (SPME) fiber in combination with gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) for the determination of ultra-trace levels of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and o-xylene (BTEX) in real water samples. The PEG-g-MWCNTs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectra and also thermo-gravimetric analysis, which verified that PEG chains were grafted onto the surface of the MWCNTs. The scanning electron micrographs of the fiber surface revealed a highly porous structure which greatly increases the surface area for PEG-g-MWCNTs sol-gel coating. This fiber demonstrated many inherent advantages, the main being the strong anchoring of the coating to the fused silica resulting from chemical bonding with the silanol groups on the fused-silica fiber surface. The new PEG-g-MWCNTs sol-gel fiber is simple to prepare, robust, with high thermal stability and long lifetime, up to 200 extractions. Important parameters influencing the extraction efficiency such as desorption temperature and time, extraction temperature, extraction time, stirring speed and salt effect were investigated and optimized. Under the optimal conditions, the method detection limits (S/N=3) were in the range of 0.6-3 pg mL(-1) and the limits of quantification (S/N=10) between 2 and 10 pg mL(-1). The relative standard deviations (RSDs) for one fiber (repeatability) (n=5) were obtained from 4.40 up to 5.75% and between fibers or batch to batch (n=3) (reproducibility) in the range of 4.31-6.55%. The developed method was successfully applied to real water samples while the relative recovery percentages obtained for the spiked water samples at 20 pg mL(-1) were from 90.21 to 101.90%.