Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 9, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Challenges in polymer analysis by liquid chromatography

Author affiliations

Abstract

Synthetic polymers are very important in our daily life. Many valuable properties of polymers are determined by their molecular weight and chemical composition. Liquid chromatographic (LC) techniques are very commonly used for molecular characterisation of polymers. LC analysis of macromolecules is more challenging than analysis of low-molecular-weight compounds, because of polymer dispersity, chemical heterogeneity (several polymer distributions within one sample), poor solubility of many engineering plastics in common chromatographic solvents, and other factors. The present review focuses on difficulties associated with LC analysis of synthetic polymers. The approaches that allow bringing poorly soluble polymers within the scope of LC are discussed. Different LC modes used for polymer separations are reviewed and associated practical challenges are identified. Aspects of optimization of separations in terms of resolution (retention factors, selectivity and efficiency) and analysis time are discussed. Modern technologies (core–shell stationary phases, monolithic columns, and sub-2 μm particles) that may positively affect the trade-off between speed of analysis and efficiency are considered in this respect. Finally, the issue of detection in LC of polymers is addressed. The advantages and limitations of different detection techniques as well as hyphenated techniques are discussed.

Graphical abstract: Challenges in polymer analysis by liquid chromatography

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 27 Apr 2012, accepted on 04 Jun 2012 and first published on 09 Jul 2012


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C2PY20274C
Polym. Chem., 2012,3, 2313-2335

  •   Request permissions

    Challenges in polymer analysis by liquid chromatography

    E. Uliyanchenko, S. van der Wal and P. J. Schoenmakers, Polym. Chem., 2012, 3, 2313
    DOI: 10.1039/C2PY20274C

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements