Waters Corp.: Separation Science with UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography

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Waters Corporation today ushered in a new category of separation science with the introduction of Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System which expands the boundaries of reversed phase liquid chromatography (LC) and of gas chromatography (GC) separations and offers a replacement option for normal phase chromatography applications. Employing the principle of UltraPerformance Convergence Chromatography( UPC2), Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System is a novel analytical system that gives laboratories an indispensable tool for tackling tough-to-analyze compounds including hydrophobic and chiral compounds, lipids, thermally-labile samples and polymers.

"ACQUITY UPC2 took on every challenge we threw at it.  At one point, we ran a very challenging 18-compound mixture, including amines, vitamin isomers, steroids, and antibacterial agents," said Harbaksh Sidhu, UPC2 Program Director, Waters Division. "The results were astounding. We saw repeatability, narrow peaks, consistent peak widths, all in a gradient mode of operation with extremely low baseline noise. The low system volume along with small particle size columns is the result of a holistic design that unlocks the benefits of using compressed CO2 never realized before. As someone who's been working with this technology for more than 18 years, I had never witnessed this level of performance before."

Harnessing Compressed CO2 Broadens Separations Options

Compressed carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary mobile phase for UPC2, offers numerous major advantages over liquid mobile phases or carrier gases that are used with LC and GC. For one, CO2 alone, or in combination with a co-solvent, is a low viscosity mobile phase that achieves higher diffusion rates and enhanced mass transfer than liquids used in HPLC. For another, when compared to GC, CO2 alone is a mobile phase that allows separations to occur at a much lower temperature.

Scientists can routinely separate compounds that are less amenable to analysis by LC and GC including molecules having a wide range of polarities.

Along with industry leading sub two-micron particle column chemistries, Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System gives scientists the ability to precisely vary mobile phase strength, pressure, and temperature. With this ability to fine-tune the resolving power and selectivity of the system, scientists can exercise better control over the retention of analytes for separating, detecting and quantifying structural analogs, isomers, and enantiomeric and diasteriomeric mixtures - all compounds that are often difficult to separate by any other means. A key benefit of the Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System is the use of inexpensive and non-toxic compressed CO2 as a primary mobile phase that can take the place of toxic and volatile organic solvents that are extremely expensive to purchase and dispose.

The ACQUITY UPC2  System is a product of Waters' extensive history of quality instrument design and development experience  and exhibits Waters' trademark ruggedness, reliability and ease-of-use. Its key features include:

  • A 10 mL fixed loop injector for partial loop injections of between 0.5 mL and 10 mL preserves sample and eliminates the need to change sample loops.
  • Reduced system volume enables shorter run times, optimizes gradient performance, reduces band broadening, and enables the use of small particle size columns.
  • Co-solvent and column switching for more flexible methods development, faster solvent and column screening.
  • Gradient accuracy and precision assures retention time reproducibility.
  • Improved optical detection and MS compatibility for conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses.


Waters ACQUITY UPC2  Systemis the perfect complement to MS due to its low solvent load, exceptional resolving power, narrow peaks and fast separations.

Whether analyzing natural products, traditional medicines, drugs, food additives or contaminants, pesticides, surfactants, polymer additives, or biofuels, Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System delivers unparalleled separations and peak shape.

Like all of Waters ACQUITY-based products, Waters ACQUITY UPC2 System maximizes the benefits of Waters chemistries like the new ACQUITY UPC2 columns as well as industry-leading informatics software and expert support.

The ACQUITY UPC2 System now takes its place alongside LC and GC as a powerful complementary technique for taking on the laboratory's toughest separations challenges.

For over 50 years, Waters Corporation has created business advantages for laboratory-dependent organizations by delivering practical and sustainable innovation to enable significant advancements in such areas as healthcare delivery, environmental management, food safety, and water quality worldwide.

Pioneering a connected portfolio of separations science, laboratory information management, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis, Waters technology breakthroughs and laboratory solutions provide an enduring platform for customer success.

With revenue of $1.85 billion in 2011, Waters is driving scientific discovery and operational excellence for customers worldwide.

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