Gel permeation chromatography/size-exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC) is the standard technique to determine the molar mass distribution of synthetic macromolecules. However, some kinds of polymers (for example, polyolefins) are often only soluble in special solvents and require high temperatures to be used during the analysis to keep the sample completely dissolved. Therefore, for the analysis of these polymers, dedicated high temperature GPC systems are used. This article will discuss the pros and cons of both high temperature GPC/SEC and ambient GPC/SEC.
Branching is one of the parameters chemists can adjust to produce polymer materials with optimized physical properties. Chromatography and advanced detection can help to characterize branched molecules. This instalment of Tips & Tricks explains more.