What is SilcoNert® 2000 Deactivation?

absorption activity column leaks deactivation reactivity sample degradation

SilcoNert 2000 is precisely the same inert coating as Siltek®, by Restek. The company that does the deactivation for us is SilcoTek®, a spin-off of Restek, and run by Restek’s long time “head coach”, Paul Silvis. SilcoNert 2000 is the most popular deactivation coating in analytical chemistry, and for good reason.


  • SilcoNert 2000 deactivation works with acidic and basic compounds, chlorinated and organo-phorphorous pesticides, ammonia and nitrogen oxide compounds, organo-sulfur compounds, even mercury, so there is no need to swap out liners for compatibility with differential sample chemistry.


  • SilcoNert 2000 deactivation is more effective than other deactivation chemistries, penetrating into surface defects where other coatings can’t go and binding indiscriminately across the glass surface to cover both all activity (all species of silanols) and reactivity (heavy metals).


  • 97% of exposed activity is blocked with SilcoNert 2000 versus ~55% for alternative deactivation chemistries.


  • SilcoNert 2000 is thermally stable and lasts longer than other deactivation chemistries. When it does finally degrade, InnovaQuartz’ underlying quartz surface is more than 5 orders of magnitude less active than others’ substrates.




Other deactivation chemistries “target” activity by binding to the substrate glass through the surface silanol groups (known as end-capping). Silanol concentration is often maximized prior to deactivation to enhance bonding. The problem with this is that ALL deactivation is labile to hydrolysis and thermal decomposition, so it is temporary at best. Deactivation coatings on highly active substrates are effective for a time, but the steady degradation results in a relentless rise in exposure of the underlying glass’ activity.

SilcoNert 2000 is different; it does not bind through surface silanol groups so there is no reason to saturate the surface activity prior to deactivation. SilcoNert 2000 is essentially an amorphous, hydrogenated silicon film (via CVD SiH4) that is functionalized with ethane (via ethylene) and it is stable at all GC oven temperatures.

Like other deactivation layers, SilcoNert 2000 does degrade over time, but on InnovaQuartz’ products, when it does degrade, the exposed underlying glass is the most inert glass known -- electrically fused quartz – having at least 10,000-fold less surface activity than the acid-treated borosilicate glass used to make others’ GC accessories.

Liners aren’t cheap but wasting time with residual activity costs even more. When deactivated with SilcoNert 2000, IQ’s ZenLiner™ fused quartz liners and Press2Fit™ quick connects are the penultimate insurance against wasted instrument time. They improve your instrument performance from the first injection (fused quartz has better thermal conductivity than borosilicate glass so samples vaporize more efficiently) and last a very, very long time. If you have automated liner replacement, or if you routinely hot swap liners by hand, InnovaQuartz’ fused quartz and SilcoNert 2000 can take the punishment without damage.


-- doctorsilica

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