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June 5th 2024

When a mass sensitive GPC/SEC detector is not enough

When a mass sensitive GPC/SEC detector is not enough.

Most modern GPC/SEC systems are equipped with a high-performance mass sensitive detector such as a MALS or a viscometer. However, where applications are more demanding, such as with highly branched lower molecular weight polymers or block copolymers, a single mass sensitive detector is not sufficient to fully characterize the sample under investigation. Absolute molecular weight, as delivered by MALS or obtained with a viscometer detector, is often only a secondary parameter in comparison to the more insightful Mark-Howink parameters. Information about the physical structure of a polymer, which determines its behavior and function, can only be obtained by combining different mass sensitive detectors in one system and combining their results into a single picture. For this, the combination of MALS and viscosity, together with refractive index detection for concentration data delivers the most information-rich results while also proving absolute molecular weight and intrinsic viscosity results.

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