E18: Introduction to GPC/SEC for Polymer Analysis

One-Day Course 
Date is TBA; 8:30am – 5:00pm

Dr. Yejia Li, Asland, Bridgewater, NJ
Dr. Zheng Li, Asland, Bridgewater, NJ

This one-day course presents the fundamentals of GPC/SEC with an emphasis on practical applications for polymer analysis.  Topics to be covered include the theory, instrumentation and applications of SEC/GPC with key concepts of polymers.  Applications of SEC/GPC will be presented with examples from industry and academy.  Advanced technique with light scattering and rheometer will be used to solve complex issues.  Other practical issues and trouble-shooting for GPC/SEC analysis will be discussed as well.

This course is designed for GPC/SEC chemist (new users, researchers, regulators, and lab managers).  The application of this course is focused on analysis of polymers, however, the technique is also applicable to other macromolecules (protein, nanoparticle, etc.).

1. Introduction to Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)/Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)
a. History of GPC/SEC
b. Theory of size exclusion chromatography
c. Overview of GPC/SEC applications
2. Introduction of Polymer
a. Monomer (hydrophilic and hydrophobic)
b. Copolymers (random, gradient, block)
c. Architecture (linear, branched, graft, star, etc)
     d. Mw, Mn, PDI
3. GPC/SEC Instrumentation
a. Separation unit
b. Mobile phase (organic, aqueous, pH, etc)
c. Column (organic, aqueous, polar, special functionality)
d. Detector (RI, UV, LS, Viscometer)
4. Mw Determination by SEC
     a. Calibration by standards
     b. Universal calibration
5. Light Scattering
a. Theory of static light scattering (Zimm equation, plot)
b. Determination of dn/dc, Mw, Rg
c. Confirmation plot
d. Dynamic light scattering
e. Relationship of Rg/Rh
6. Viscometry
a. Theory of viscometry measurement
b. Mark-Houwink Equation
     c. Degree of branching
7. Other Applications
a. Determine insoluble%
b. Quantification of polymer in formulation
c. Multi-detector compositional analysis
d. Separation of small molecules
8. Source of Errors
     a. Baseline noise and drift
     b. Poor peak qualities (ghost peak, peak broadening/tailing, peak split, etc)
     c. Concentration limitations (viscous fingering etc.) and virtues of filtration with cautions on shear degradation
d. Common system issues
9. Related Technique (Optional)
     a. 2-D GPC/HPLC
     c. Field flow fractionation (FFF)

Dr. Yejia Li is currently a staff scientist at Ashland Inc. with extensive research experience of GPC/SEC analysis in chemical industry.  He received his BS in Pharmaceutical Science from Peking University (2004) and a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from Tulane University (2011).  His recent research focused on polymer analysis by GPC/SEC with multiple detection (EAS 2017), light scattering (EAS 2016), 2D-GPC/HPLC (EAS 2014), MALDI-TOF (Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Macromolecules) and Field Flow Fractionation.  He is expertise on synthesis of polymers and published peer-review papers on Macromolecules, ChemComm, Journal of Polymer Science Part A, and Journal of Mass Spectrometry, ACS McroLetters and Journal of Nanoparticle Research.  He is also reviewer for ChemComm, Journal of Polymer Science Part A, Soft Matters, Polymer Chemistry, Polymer, Journal of Mass Spectrometry, RSC Advances, Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Tetrahedron, International Journal of Polymer Science, Society of Plastic Engineering and Polymer Engineering and Science.

Dr. Zheng Li is a staff scientist in Ashland Inc. He gained his BS degree in Physics from Sichuan University in China, and later gained his Ph.D in Polymer Physics from Tulane University. His research focused on new instrumentation and characterization method development using multi-angle light scattering as core technique, and had multiple first author publications in Polymer and Macrom.Chem.Phys. He also had multiple conference presentations at ACS and EAS, including the most recent one, “Composition determination of copolymer of VP/PEGMA using SEC-UV/RI Dual detection, a new technique for gentle whitening”. He had five years’ experience in analytical chemistry and had certificates for SEC technique from several vendors, including Malvern, Wyatt, etc.