Shear Field-Flow Fractionation: Theoretical Basis of a New, Highly Selective Technique

J. Calvin Giddings, Susan L. Brantley

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20 Scopus citations


Shear field-flow fractionation (shear FFF) is described as an FFF system in which shear forces are responsible for migration perpendicular to flow. It is shown that a desirable configuration for shear FFF is a concentric cylinder system with one cylinder rotating. After providing the relevant theoretical framework of FFF, the equations of Shafer et al. describing shear migration are simplified and applied to the limiting case of very thin annular spaces to get tractable retention expressions. On this basis the maximum selectivity is predicted to be 3 or greater, a value considerably higher than that for any other macromolecular separation technique. This high selectivity is confirmed using an alternate shear migration theory developed by Tirrell et al. However, it is shown that shear FFF is only applicable to macromolecules of high molecular weight, perhaps ~107 and above. It may also be applicable to globular particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-651
Number of pages21
JournalSeparation Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 1 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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