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Chromatographia

, Volume 81, Issue 5, pp 823–827 | Cite as

Determining the Chemical-Heterogeneity-Corrected Molar Mass Averages and Distribution of Poly(styrene-co-t-butyl methacrylate) Using SEC/MALS/UV/DRI

  • André M. Striegel
  • Imad A. Haidar Ahmad
Short Communication

Abstract

Chemical heterogeneity, defined as the change (or lack thereof) across the molar mass distribution (MMD) in the monomeric ratio of a copolymer, can influence processing and end-use properties such as solubility, gas permeation, conductivity, and the energy of interfacial fracture. Given that each parent homopolymer of the copolymer monomeric components has a different specific refractive index increment (∂n/∂c) from the other component, chemical heterogeneity translates into ∂n/∂c heterogeneity. The latter, in turn, affects the accuracy of the molar mass (M) averages and distributions of the copolymers in question. Here, employing size-exclusion chromatography coupled on-line to multi-angle static light scattering, ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, and differential refractometry detection, the chemical heterogeneity (given as mass percent styrene) was determined for a poly(styrene-co-t-butyl methacrylate) copolymer. Also determined were the chemical-heterogeneity-corrected M averages and MMD of the copolymer. In the present case, the error in molar mass incurred by ignoring the effects of chemical heterogeneity in the M calculations is seen to reach as high as 53,000 g mol−1 at the high end of the MMD. This error could be much higher, however, in copolymers with higher M or with larger difference among component ∂n/∂c values, as compared to the current analyte.

Keywords

Chemical heterogeneity Copolymer Multi-detector size-exclusion chromatography Specific refractive index increment Molar mass Poly(styrene-co-t-butyl methacrylate) 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to declare. The research presented here did not involve human participants and/or animals.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature(outside the USA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical Sciences DivisionNational Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)GaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Process Research and DevelopmentMerck and Co., Inc.RahwayUSA

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