What are the Similarities Between Chromatography and Electrophoresis

Forensic analytics

In cooperation with partners from forensic science, we investigate biogenic and synthetic drugs. A large number of electromigratory techniques are used here, such as capillary electrophoresis, non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis, micellar electrokinetic chromatography and isotachophoresis. For detection, we mainly use the coupling to mass spectrometry and native fluorescence detection with UV lasers as excitation sources.

The focus is on biogenic drugs or plant materials that are used as starting materials for (semi-) synthetic drugs, as well as new psychoactive substances. Here, the active ingredient profile can show differences or similarities between different seizures or reference samples, which enables material comparisons and profiling strategies. We also use chemometric data processing for this purpose.

The work with separation techniques is supplemented here by fluorescence spectroscopy on solids for the clarification of counterfeit drugs.


  • Federal Criminal Police Office, Wiesbaden
  • State Criminal Police Office Rhineland-Palatinate


  1. Electromigrative separation techniques in forensic science: combining selectivity, sensitivity, and robustness
    T. N. Posch, M. Pütz, N. Martin, C. Huhn, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 2015, 407, 23-58
  2. Desulfurized fuels from Athabasca bitumen and their polycyclic aromatic sulfur heterocycles. Analysis based on capillary electrophoresis coupled with TOF MS
    T. Nolte, T. N. Posch, C. Huhn, J. T. Andersson, Energy Fuels 2013, 27, 97-107
  3. Non-aqueous capillary electrophoresis - mass spectrometry: A versatile, straightforward tool for the analysis of alkaloids from psychoactive plant extracts
    T. N. Posch, N. Martin, M. Pütz, C. Huhn, Electrophoresis 2012, 33, 1557-1566
  4. Forensic analysis of mesembrine alkaloids in sceletium tortuosum by nonaqueous capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry
    J. Roscher, T. N. Posch, M. Pütz, C. Huhn, Electrophoresis 2012, 33, 1567-1570
  5. Capillary electrophoresis - laser induced fluorescence - electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry: A case study
    C. Huhn, C. Neusüß, M. Pelzing, U. Pyell, J. Mannhardt, M. Pütz, Special issue on CE-MS, Electrophoresis 2005, 26, 1389-1397
  6. Separation of very hydrophobic analytes by micellar electrokinetic chromatography I. Optimization of the composition of the sample solution for the determination of the aromatic ingredients of sassafras and other essential oils of forensic interest
    C. Huhn, M. Pütz, I. Holthausen, U. Pyell, Electrophoresis 2008, 29, 526-537
  7. Determination of tryptamine derivatives in illicit synthetic drugs by capillary electrophoresis and UV-laser-induced fluorescence detection
    C. Huhn, M. Pütz, N. Martin, R. Dahlenburg, U. Pyell, Electrophoresis 2005, 26, 2391-2401
  8. Sassafras oils as precursors for the production of synthetic drugs: Profiling via MEKC-UVD
    C. Huhn, M. Pütz, R. Dahlenburg, U. Pyell, Contributions to the XIV. GTFCh Symposium 2005, 198-207
  9. Origin of MDMA and amphetamine precursors: Carbon-14 analysis of safrole, PMK, BMK
    M. Pütz, B. Herrmann, N. Martin, R. Dahlenburg, C. Huhn, U. Pyell, contributions to the XIV. GTFCh-Symposium 2005, 236-247
  10. Determination of beta-carboline alkaloids and tryptamines in ayahuasca and herbal drugs with MEKC-UV-LIF
    M. Pütz, C. Huhn, R. Dahlenburg, U. Pyell, contributions to the XIII. GTFCh Symposium, 2003, 275-282