LC & LC/MS Columns - USP Designations 

The US Pharmacopeia (USP) is a standard source for many pharmaceutical methods. The USP specifies columns by packing material rather than by manufacturer. In most categories several different types of columns are listed which differ in particle size, particle shape, and perhaps carbon load or surface area. In these cases, the USP column specifications are quite broad and several column types meet the basic specifications. For example, an L1 specification calls for octadecyl silane chemically bonded to porous silica or ceramic micro-particles, 1.5 to 10 µm in diameter, or a monolithic rod.

Many commercially available columns meet the basic specifications and may be different particle types, including totally porous, superficially porous and monoliths. However, not all C18 columns are alike, and only a limited number of the available C18 columns from any vendor will actually perform the desired separation. For increased efficiency and resolution, we recommend spherical particles, totally porous or superficially porous from 1.5 to 3.5 µm in diameter. The USP specifically gives you the flexibility to determine the best column for your needs.

USP Designations and Agilent Columns
USP DesignationUSP Packing MaterialColumnParticle Size (µm)Pore Size (Å)
L1Octadecyl silane chemically bonded to porous silica or ceramic micro-particles, 1.5 to 10 µm diameter, or a monolithic silica rodMetaSil AQ C18
Microsorb 100-5 C18
OmniSpher C18
Polaris C18-A
Polaris C18-Ether
Poroshell 120 EC-C18
Poroshell 120 SB-C18
Poroshell HPH-C18
Poroshell 300SB-C18
Poroshell 300Extend-C18
Pursuit C18
Pursuit XRs C18
SepTech ST60 10-C18
SepTech ST150 10-C18
ZORBAX Eclipse Plus C18
ZORBAX Eclipse XDB-C18
ZORBAX Extend-C18
ZORBAX 300 Extend-C18
ZORBAX ODS
ZORBAX ODS classic
ZORBAX Rx-C18
ZORBAX SB-C18
ZORBAX 300SB-C18
5
3
3, 5
3, 5, 10
3, 5
2.7, 4
2.7
2.7
5
5
3, 5, 10
3, 5, 10
10
10
1.8, 3.5, 5
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
3.5, 5
3.5, 5, 7
5
3.5, 5
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
100
120
100, 120
180
200
120
120
120
300
300
200
100
60
150
95
80
80
300
70
70
80
80
300
L3Porous silica microparticles, 1.5 to 10 µm in diameter, or a monolithic silica rodMetaSil AQ Si
Microsorb 100-5 Si
Polaris Si-A
Poroshell 120 HILIC
Pursuit XRs Si
ZORBAX Rx-Sil
ZORBAX SIL
ZORBAX HILIC Plus
5
5
3, 5, 10
2.7, 4
3, 5, 10
3.5, 5
5
3.5
80, 120
100
180
120
100
80, 300
70
95
L4Silica gel of controlled surface porosity bonded to a solid spherical core, 30 to 50 µm in diameterCustom order
L7Octylsilane chemically bonded to totally porous silica particles, 1.5 to 10 µm in diameter, or a monolithic silica rodMicrosorb 100-5 C8
Polaris C8-A
Polaris C8-Ether
Poroshell 120 EC-C8
Poroshell 120 SB-C8
Poroshell HPH-C8
Poroshell 300 SB-C8
Pursuit C8
Pursuit XRs C8
ZORBAX C8
ZORBAX Eclipse Plus C8
ZORBAX Eclipse XDB-C8
ZORBAX Rx-C8
ZORBAX SB-C8
ZORBAX Rx-C8
ZORBAX C8
ZORBAX 300SB-C8
5
3, 5, 10
3, 5
2.7, 4
2.7
2.7
5
3, 5, 10
3, 5, 10
5
1.8, 3.5, 5
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
5
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
100
180
200
120
120
120
300
200
100
70
95
80
80
80
80
70
300
L8An essentially monomolecular layer of aminopropylsilane chemically bonded to totally porous silica gel support, 3 to 10 µm in diameterMicrosorb 100-5 Amino
Polaris NH2
ZORBAX NH2
5
3, 5
5
100
180
70
L9Irregular or spherical, totally porous silica gel having a chemically bonded, strongly acidic cation-exchange coating, 3 to 10 µm in diameterSynChropak SCX
ZORBAX SCX
6.5
5 spherical

300
300

L10Nitrile groups chemically bonded to porous silica particles, 3 to 10 µm in diameterMicrosorb 100-5 Cyano
Poroshell 120 EC-CN
ZORBAX CN
ZORBAX Eclipse XDB-CN
ZORBAX SB-CN
ZORBAX 300SB-CN
5
2.7
5
3.5, 5
3.5, 5
3.5, 5, 7
100
120
70
80
80
300
L11Phenyl groups chemically bonded to porous silica particles, 1.5 to 10 µm in diameterMicrosorb 100-5 Phenyl
Poroshell 120 Phenyl-Hexyl
Pursuit Diphenyl
Pursuit XRs Diphenyl
ZORBAX Eclipse XDB Phenyl
ZORBAX Eclipse Plus Phenyl-Hexyl
ZORBAX Phenyl
ZORBAX SB-Phenyl
5
2.7, 4
3, 5, 10
3, 5, 10
5
1.8,3.5, 5
3, 5
1.8,3.5, 5
100
120
200
100
70
95
80
80
L13Trimethylsilane chemically bonded to porous silica particles, 3 to 10 µm in diameterZORBAX TMS570
L14Silica gel having a chemically bonded, strongly basic quaternary ammonium anion-exchange coating, 5 to 10 µm in diameterIonoSpher A
SynChropak SAX
ZORBAX SAX
5
6.5
5
120
300
70
L15Hexyl silane chemically bonded to totally porous silica particles, 3 to 10 µmMetaSil C6
L17Strong cation-exchange resin consisting of sulfonated cross-linked styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer in the hydrogen form, 7 to 11 µm in diameter
Hi-PLex H
Bio SCX NP10
8
10
N/A
N/A
L19Strong cation-exchange resin consisting of sulfonated cross-linked styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer in the calcium form, about 9 µm in diameter
Hi-Plex Ca
Hi-Plex Ca (Duo)
8
8
N/A
N/A
L20Dihydroxypropane groups chemically bonded to porous silica particles, 5 to 10 µm in diameterMonoChrom Diol3, 5110
L21A rigid, spherical styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer, 5 to 10 µm in diameterPLgel



PLRP-S
5, 10



5, 8
50, 100, 500, 103, 104, 105, 106


100, 300, 1,000, 4,000
L22A cation-exchange resin made of porous polystyrene gel with sulfonic acid groups, about 10 µm in sizeHi-Plex H8N/A
L25Packing having the capacity to separate compounds with a MW range from 1,000 to 5,000 Da (as determined by polyethylene oxide), applied to neutral, anionic and cationic water-soluble polymersPL aquagel-OH 305, 830
L26Butyl silane chemically bonded to totally porous silica particles, 3 to 10 µm in diameterMicrosorb C43, 5, 8, 10300
L27Porous silica particles, 30 to 50 µm in diameterBondesil Si
SampliQ Bulk Silica, 25 g
40500
L33Packing having the capacity to separate proteins by molecular size over a range of 4,000 to 500,000 Da. It is spherical, silica-based, and processed to provide pH stabilityZORBAX GF-250
BioSEC 3
BioSEC5
ProSEC 300S
4
3
5
5
150
300
300
300
L34Strong cation-exchange resin consisting of sulfonated cross-linked styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer in the lead form, about 9 µm in diameterHi-Plex Pb8N/A
L35A zirconium-stabilizes spherical silica packing with a hydrophilic (diol-type) molecular monolayer bonded phaseZORBAX GF-250
ZORBAX GF-450
4
6
150
300
L43Pentafluorophenyl groups chemically bonded to silica particles by a propyl spacer, 5 to 10 µm in diameterPoroshell PFP
Pursuit PFP
2.7, 4
3, 5
120
200
L45Beta cyclodextrin bonded to porous silica particles, 5 to 10 μm in diameterChiraDex Chiral5
L50A strong cation-exchange resin made of porous silica
with sulfopropyl groups, 5 to 10 µm in diameter
SynChropak SCX
ZORBAX 300SCX
5
5
300
300
L52A strong cation-exchange resin made of porous silica with sulfopropyl groups, 5 to 10 µm in diameterIonoSpher C5120
L56Propyl silane chemically bonded to totally porous silica particles, 3 to 10 μm in diameterPoroshell 300SB-C3
ZORBAX SB-C3
ZORBAX 300SB-C3

3.5, 5
3.5, 5

80
300
L57A chiral-recognition protein, ovomucoid, chemically bonded to silica particles, about 5 µm in diameter, with a pore size of 120ÅULTRON ES-OVM5120
L58Strong cation-exchange resin consisting of sulfonated cross-linked styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer in the sodium form, about 6 to 30 µm diameterHi-Plex Na
Hi-Plex Na (Octo)
10
8
N/A
N/A
L60Spherical, porous silica gel, 10 µm or less in diameter, the surface of which has been covalently modified with alkyl amide groups and end cappedBonus-RP
Poroshell 120 Bonus-RP
Polaris Amide-C18
1.8, 3.5, 5, 7
2.7
3, 5, 10
80
120
180
N/A - not applicable

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