Chromatography, despite being a technique over a century old, is a staple in modern chemical analysis. Its applications have become so broad since its inception due to developments in instrumentation, such as high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography, and equally so due to the chemistries and structures of the stationary phases. Traditional chromatography columns are packed with fine particles of a porous mineral such as silica or alumina, but developments in silica and polymer chemistry have yielded the invention of monoliths: a continuous and highly porous block of material with high surface area for use as a column. Monoliths have unique properties and the use of organic polymer materials in place of silica has provided new capabilities and applications for chemical separations 1,2.
1. Lv, Yongquin; Svec, Frantisek. "Advances AND Recent Trends in the Field of Monolithic columns for Chromatography." Analytical Chemistry. 2015, 87, 250-273.
2. Guiochon, Georges. "Monolithic columns in high-performance liquid chromatography." Journal of Chromatography A. 2007, 1168, 101-168.