WP1003: Analyses of Polymer Branching

This note provides a brief overview of the basic principles of the detection and characterization of polymer branching by means of multi-angle light scattering (MALS). The most common methods for determining branching parameters are presented and elucidated by means of pertinent experimental results. The abnormal elution behavior of certain branched macromolecules in size exclusion chromatography (SEC) is explained and the data acquired by SEC-MALS are compared with those obtained by asymmetric-flow field flow fractionation (A4F). The comparison of SEC-MALS and A4F-MALS proves superior separation of large and highly branched macromolecules by A4F compared to SEC. The addition of MALS capabilities is invaluable for analyzing branched polymers.