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J Chromatogr A. 2005 May 27;1076(1-2):51-61.

Comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography for the characterization of functional acrylate polymers.

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  • 1Polymer-Analysis Group, van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography-size-exclusion chromatography (LC x SEC) was investigated as a tool for the characterization of functional poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) polymers. Ultraviolet-absorbance and evaporative light-scattering detection (ELSD) were used. A simple method to quantify ELSD data is presented. Each data point from the ELSD chromatogram can be converted into a mass concentration using experimental calibration curves. The qualitative and quantitative information obtained on two representative samples is used to demonstrate the applicability of LC x SEC for determining the mutually dependent molar-mass distributions (MMD) and functionality-type distributions (FTD) of functional polymers. The influence of the molar mass on the retention behavior in LC was investigated using LC x SEC for hydroxyl-functional PMMA polymers. The critical conditions, at which retention is--by definition--independent of molar mass, were not exactly the same for PMMA series with different end-groups. Our observations are in close agreement with theoretical curves reported in the literature. However, for practical applications of LC x SEC it is not strictly necessary to work at the exact critical solvent composition. Near-critical conditions are often sufficient to determine the mutually dependent distributions (MMD and FTD) of functional polymers.

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