Abstract

A new solvent elimination interface capable of operating at elevated temperatures, here 145°C, has been used to collect polymer molecular weight fractions eluting from a gel permeation chromatogram and to prepare them for IR analysis. The sample is deposited continuously onto a rotating germanium disk which can subsequently be scanned with the use of GC/FT-IR software, allowing direct access to the polymer or copolymer composition as a function of molecular weight. Data are presented here for an ethylene-propylene copolymer which has a distinct bimodal molecular weight distribution. Both the concentration profile and the "composition distribution" are examined. For the polymer concentration profile, comparison is made between the chromatogram obtained with a differential refractive index (DRI) detector and the IR detector (plotting the absorbance as a function of time using Gram-Schmidt vector orthogonalization). The copolymer composition is determined from the relative absorbance of methyl and methylene groups in the CH stretching region. The results show a small change in propylene content as a function of molecular weight, and there is good agreement between composition calculated with the use of the Gram-Schmidt and point-to-point methods.

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