Absolute Molar Masses for Phenol Formaldehyde Resins with GPC/SEC-ESI

July 2, 2010
Friedhelm Gores

The Application Notebook

The Application Notebook, The Application Notebook-07-02-2010, Volume 0, Issue 0
Page Number: 33

Phenol formaldehyde resins are formed by a step-growth polymerization. GPC/SEC with RI and UV detection is often used to characterize resins and to quantify the amount of different oligomeric species.

Introduction

Phenol formaldehyde resins are formed by a step-growth polymerization. GPC/SEC with RI and UV detection is often used to characterize resins and to quantify the amount of different oligomeric species. Additional information is available if a ESI-MS-spectrometer is on-line attached to the GPC/SEC system. This technique combines the separation ability of GPC/SEC with the sensitivity and specificity of detection from MS and allows the identification of oligomeric species and gives information about the degree of CH2-OH substitution.

Experimental

GPC/SEC analysis was performed on a PSS SECcurity 1200 system consisting of:

  • an isocratic pump

  • an autosampler with variable injection volume

  • a differential refractometer (RI)

  • a Thermo Fisher LXQ ESI spectrometer

Conditions

Columns: PSS SDV, 5 µm, 50 + 100 + 1000 Å, 8 × 300 mm each + precolumn

Solvent: THF

Flow rate: 0.3 mL/min

Inject volume: 20 µL

Software: PSS WinGPC Unity 7.4, Thermo Fisher Excalibur 2.07

Figure 1: RI trace oligomeric phenol formaldehyed resin, degree of polymerization identified from corresponding mass spectrum.

Results

Figure 1 shows the elugram of an oligomeric phenol formaldehyde resin, separated into three different peaks with 1, 2 and 3 repetition units. The mass spectra are then measured for each species. Figure 2 shows as example the mass spectrum for peak n = 1 while Table 1 summarizes the masses possible in theory and identified (green) or not detected (grey). This combined approach can be used for molar masses up to approx. 2000 Da, higher degrees of polymerization have also been investigated.

Figure 2: Mass spectrum for n = 1 showing the 3 different species (CH2–OH substitution).

Table 1

PSS Polymer Standards Service GmbH

In der Dalheimer Wiese 5, D-55120 Mainz, Germany

tel. +49 6131 96239 50 fax +49 6131 96239 11

E-mail: fgores@polymer.de

Website: www.analyzepolymers.com