Let me introduce myself: Cees Bruggink, consultant and owner of InIon Chromatography.
Since 1978 I am developing knowledge and applications in ion chromatography as published by Small, Stevens, and Baumann of Dow Chemicals (Anal. Chem. 1975, 47, 1801–1809). In the first years, this technology was mainly applied for inorganic anions such as fluoride, chloride, bromide, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, and sulfate. Later IC was used for alkali-, alkaline earth metals and ammonium. Small organic acids followed this analytical field with ion exclusion mode.
Up until now, chemical suppressed conductivity has extensively been used for detection in IC. Some inorganics, like sulfide and cyanide, do not dissociate well in the acidic form and hampers the detection in chemically suppressed conductivity. To detect such ions, DC-amperometric detection has been introduced
At the beginning of the 1980s, Pulsed Amperometric Detection (PAD) was developed for carbohydrates by Hughes and Johnson (Anal. Chim. Acta 1981, 132, 11 – 22). This method's benefit is that carbohydrates can be determined underivatized with a sensitivity close to fluorescence detection. Rocklin and Pohl improved this IC method's robustness by developing an anion exchange column and PAD in alkaline conditions at a gold electrode. Fast after these developments, the isomeric separation for complex carbohydrates was demonstrated.
In the 1990s, the development of hyphenation of IC methods to mass spectrometry took place.
Today ion chromatography has been applied in the determination and research of:
Inorganic anions and cations; Metaloxyanions; Lanthanides; Noble metals; Chelate complexes of metals; Surfactants; Chelators; Phosphonates; Sulfonates; Organic acids; Carbohydrates, Alcohols; Aldehydes, Organic amines; Amino acids; Nucleic acids; Peptides and Proteins; Zwitterions; etc.
For more insight in background and history, consult the publications list