Tailored surface chemistry impacts nanomaterial function and stability in applications including in various capillary electrophoresis (CE) modes. Although colloidal nanoparticles were first integrated as colouring agents in artwork and pottery over 2000 years ago, recent developments in nanoparticle synthesis and surface modification increased their usefulness and incorporation in separation science. For instance, precise control of surface chemistry is critically important in modulating nanoparticle functionality and stability in dynamic environments. Herein, recent developments in nanomaterial pseudostationary and stationary phases will be summarized. First, nanomaterial core and surface chemistry compositions will be classified. Next, characterization methods will be described and related to nanomaterial function in various CE modes. Third, methods and implications of nanomaterial incorporation into CE will be discussed. Finally, nanoparticle-specific mechanisms likely involved in CE will be related to nanomaterial surface chemistry. Better understanding of surface chemistry will improve nanoparticle design for the integration into separation techniques.
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