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Making capillary IC available for the first time

Capillary IC was made possible with the introduction of the world’s first commercially available capillary high pressure ion chromatography systems and columns. While high pressure ion systems provide a new and impressive combination of resolution, speed, sensitivity, reproducibility, and simplicity, capillary HPIC systems are always on and walk-up ready with advantages that may not be apparent at first glance.

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Why was capillary IC developed?

We developed capillary ion chromatography to address customer challenges and provide:

  • Improved productivity; faster time to results
  • High performance with ease of use
  • Reduced reagent and consumable costs
  • Reliable data with limited sample volumes
Featured capillary IC webinar

High-Pressure Ion Chromatography-Capillary Scale Applications

A talk on the advantages of HPIC systems and columns: instrumentation, new technology, and applications at Philips 66.


What is the difference between standard bore and capillary IC?

In capillary IC, the column size, injection volumes, and flow rates are scaled down by a factor of 25 to 100.

 Standard Bore ICCapillary IC
Column ID4mm0.4mm
Typical Flow Rate1.0–1.5mL/min0.010–0.03μL/min
Injection Volume10μL0.1μL
Eluent Consumption/ Waste Generated43.2L/month0.432L/month

What are the advantages of an “RFIC” and “Always On” capillary system?

Nothing comes close to the ease of use, reproducibility, and performance of a Dionex RFIC system, which automates eluent generation.The combination of RFIC and an instrument that’s always on provides the following additional benefits:

  • Eluent Generator Cartridge (EGC) lasts for 18 months
  • Eliminates eluent preparation by using only 15mL water/day (5.2L water/year)
  • Eliminates variations associated with manual eluent preparation
  • Provides a stable background with more consistent response
  • Eliminates start-up and equilibration time
  • Reduces the need for repeated calibrations; verify system performance by running a check standard
  • Provides highly reproducible results, with little variability in peak retention times or areas
  • Reduces preventive maintenance and down time because the pumps are only exposed to ultrapure water

How does capillary IC reduce costs?

  • Eluent generator cartridges (EGCs) last 18 months
  • Reduces waste disposal from 520L to 5.2L per year
  • Saves time by eliminating eluent preparation, start-up time, and system equilibration
  • Reduces preventive maintenance and down time because the pumps are only exposed to ultrapure water

How does capillary IC affect mass sensitivity?

Mass sensitivity is improved 100-fold by scaling the diameter of the column to 0.4mm.

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What Dionex capillary ion chromatography systems are available?

Dionex ICS-4000 Capillary HPIC SystemPerform high-resolution ion chromatography quickly and at less cost in an integrated, plug-and-play high pressure system
Dionex ICS-6000 Capillary HPIC SystemsGet best-in-class resolution, speed, and sensitivity while saving time and eluent with this highly customizable, modular, high pressure system. Available in single, dual and hybrid (capillary and 2/4mm) configurations

Both of our capillary systems are high pressure ion chromatography (HPIC) systems. Adding to the advantages inherent in capillary IC is the ability to continuously operate at pressures up to 5000 psi. This allows you to take advantage of new high-efficiency 4μm particle-size columns for even better performance. HPIC systems in capillary format deliver an impressive combination of advantages—resolution, speed, sensitivity, reproducibility, and simplicity.


Featured Dionex IC system videos


What are some applications that can take advantage of capillary IC?

  • Drinking water
  • Wastewater
  • Mono- & disaccharides
  • Ions in juices
  • Counter ion analysis
  • Ultrapure water

What Dionex capillary IC columns are available?

We offer carbohydrate, cation, anion carbonate, and anion hydroxide IC columns in capillary format.

Capillary IC ColumnsApplicationFor Matrices
Dionex IonPac AS28-Fast-4µmFast, high-resolution separation of trace concentrations of low molecular weight organic acids (glycolate, acetate) and inorganic anionsUltrapure water
Dionex IonPac AS19-4µmHigh-resolution separation of oxyhalides and inorganic anionsComplex sample matrices
Dionex IonPac AS11-HC-4µmHigh-resolution separation of organic acids and inorganic anionsComplex sample matrices
Dionex AS18-Fast-4µmFast, high-resolution separation of inorganic anionsDiverse matrices
Dionex IonPac AS27Trace bromate in drinking water preserved with ethylenediamine (EDA)Drinking water preserved with ethylenediamine (EDA)
Dionex IonPac AS26Analysis of HAAs in drinking water by 2D-ICDrinking water
Dionex IonPac AS25Best column for multivalent anions and polarizable anionsComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac AS20Trace perchlorate analysisEnvironmental water samples with high chloride, sulfate, or carbonate
Dionex IonPac AS24AAnalysis of HAAs by 2D-ICDrinking water
Dionex IonPac AS23Separation of oxyhalides and inorganic anions using a carbonate based eluentComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac AS22Separation of inorganic anions using a carbonate based eluentComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac AS9-HCSeparation of oxyhalides and inorganic anions using a carbonate based eluentComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac AS19Inorganic anions, oxyhalides and trace bromateDrinking water and diverse matrices
Dionex IonPac AS18Best column for standard anions and low molecular weight organic acidsDiverse sample matrices
Dionex IonPac AS16-4µmAnalysis of highly polarizable anions including thiosulfate, iodide, thiocyanate, and perchlorateEnvironmental samples
Dionex IonPac AS16Trace perchlorate analysis. Capillary column used in 2D-IC method for perchlorateEnvironmental samples
Dionex IonPac AS15Trace anions and low molecular weight organic acidsHigh-purity water
Dionex IonPac AS11-HCHigh capacity column for separation of organic acids and inorganic anionsComplex sample matrices
Dionex IonPac CS20Group I and Group II cations, and amines including methylamines, ethylamines, ethanolamines, and alkanolaminesComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac CS19-4µmFast, high-resolution separation of cations and small polar aminesDiverse matrices
Dionex IonPac CS19Best column for common cations, ammonium and small polar aminesDiverse matrices
Dionex IonPac CS17Polyvalent and moderately hydrophobic amines, including diamines and biogenic aminesDiverse sample matrices
Dionex IonPac CS16-4µmHigh resolution of short chain amines and disparate ratios of sodium and ammoniumDiverse matrices
Dionex IonPac CS16Short chain amines and disparate ratios of sodium and ammoniumComplex matrices
Dionex IonPac CS16-Fast-4µmFast determination of disparate ratios of sodium and ammoniumSimple matrices
Dionex IonPac CS12A-8µmFast separations of mono and divalent cations, morpholine, alkylamines, aromatic amines and quaternary ammonium ionsVarious matrices
Dionex CarboPac PA200 for Dual EGC ModeHigh resolution separations of oligosaccharides and other complex carbohydratesGlycoprotein therapeutics and mammalian glycoproteins
Dionex CarboPac PA20High-resolution separations of mono- and disaccharides without derivatization, including optimized resolution of glucosamine/galactose and glucose/ mannose peak pairsFoods, beverages, glycoprotein therapeutics, and mammalian glycoproteins
Dionex CarboPac PA10Separation of mono- and disaccharides as well as quantification of amino, neutral, and acidic monosaccharides without derivatizationFoods, drugs, plants, and mammalian glycoproteins
Fast Capillary IC ColumnsApplicationMatrices
Dionex IonPac AS28-Fast-4µmFast, high-resolution of trace concentrations of low molecular weight organic acids (glycolate, acetate) and inorganic anionsUltrapure water
Dionex IonPac AS18-FastFast separation of inorganic anionsDiverse matrices
Dionex IonPac AS18-Fast-4µmFast, high-resolution separation of inorganic anionsIn diverse matrices
Dionex IonPac AS22-Fast-4µmFast high resolution separation of common inorganic anionsIn simple matrices
Dionex IonPac CS16-Fast-4µmFast, high resolution of short chain amines and disparate ratios of sodium and ammoniumIn diverse matrices
Dionex IonPac CS12A-5µmMono and divalent cations, morpholine, alkylamines, aromatic amines and quaternary ammonium ionsIn various matrices

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