A detailed investigation using electron microscopy was conducted which examined the conditions of materials used in the construction of stable, high performance microbore liquid chromatography (LC) columns. Small details proved to be important. The effects of temperature on the elution of several homologous series used as probe compounds was examined in reverse phase systems. They showed that accessible temperature changes provide roughly half the increase in solvent strength that would be obtained going from a 100% aqueous to a 100% organic mobile phase, which is sufficient to warrant their use in many analyses requiring the use of gradients. Air circulation temperature control systems provide the easiest means of obtaining rapid, wide range changes in column temperature. However, slow heat transfer from the gas leads to thermal nonuniformity in the column and a decrease in resolution as the temperature program progresses.