Gel permeation chromatography coupled to fourier transform mass spectrometry for polymer characterization

David J. Aaserud, Laszlo Prokai, William J. Simonsick

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74 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report an on-line coupling of gel permeation chromatography (GPC) to Fourier transform mass spectrometry (FIMS) using a modified commercial electrospray ionization (ESI) interface. Selected oligomer profiles for the sodiated (1+ through 5+ charge states) oligomer ions of a narrow-molecular- weight poly(methyl methacrylate) were generated and used for obtaining a calibration curve. Using the MS-generated calibration curve and the refractive index response for quantification, an accurate molecular weight distribution was calculated and showed an excellent agreement with the value specified by the supplier. GPC/ESI/FTMS also allowed for an unequivocal end- group determination and characterization of a secondary distribution due to the formation of cyclic reaction products. We analyzed a glycidyl methacrylate/butyl methacrylate copolymer with a broad molecular weight distribution, where fractionation and high resolving power were required for adequate characterization. Molecular weight distribution data showed the advantage of coupling high-resolution MS and GPC to overcome the difficulty of analyzing polydisperse polymers with MS alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4793-4799
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume71
Issue number21
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 1999

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