Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4) of polymers with focus on polybutadienes and polyrotaxanes

Makan, Ashwell Craig (2012-03)

Thesis (MSc)-- Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, field flow fractionation (FFF), as a polymer characterization technique, has become cutting edge technology. The demand for molar mass and size characterisation of complex polymer systems has increased, especially in cases where classical calibration techniques such as size exclusion chromatography (SEC) has shown several shortcomings. FFF is a technique resembling chromatography. It has several significant advantages over SEC, especially for the characterisation of ultrahigh molar mass (UHMM), branched and gel-containing polymers. In this study, polybutadienes, which often contain the abovementioned species, were analysed by SEC and asymmetric flow field flow fractionation (AF4). Both separation techniques were coupled to refractive index and multi-angle laser light scattering detection. Similarly, polyrotaxanes, which are polymers with complex and unique molecular architectures, were also investigated. Results showed that AF4 can explicitly be used as a superior tool over SEC. In the case of UHMM polybutadienes, much higher molar masses could be detected by AF4, due to the absence of shear degradation which is often encountered in SEC. Gel-containing species could be detected by AF4 as no filtering is required prior to injection. Abnormal retention behaviour, a phenomenon often encountered in UHMM branched polymers, was observed in SEC analysis of the polyrotaxanes materials. AF4 provided sufficient separation from low to high molar masses, without out any irregularities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende die afgelope twee dekades het veldvloeifraksionering (FFF) as ‘n polimeerkarakteriseringstegniek groot veld gewen. Die aanvraag na molekulêre massa en groottekarakterisering van komplekse polimeersisteme het toegeneem, veral in die gevalle waar klassieke kalibrasietegnieke soos grootte-uitsluitingschromatografie (SEC) etlike tekortkominge getoon het. FFF is ‘n tegniek soortgelyk aan chromatografie, en het voorheen bewys dat dit oor ‘n redelike aantal voordele bo SEC beskik, veral in die geval van ultrahoë molekulêre massa- (UHMM-), vertakte- en jelbevattende spesies. In die huidige studie is polibutadieenpolimere, wat dikwels bogenoemde spesies bevat, geanaliseer met behulp van SEC en onsimmetriese vloei-veldvloeifraksionering (AF4). Beide skeidingstegnieke is gekoppel aan ‘n brekingsindeks en multihoek-laserligverstrooiingsdetektors. Op dieselfde wyse is polirotaksane (polyrotaxanes) met komplekse molekulêre argitektuur bestudeer. Daar is bewys dat AF4 uitsluitlik gebruik kan word as ‘n meer geskikte tegniek bo SEC. Baie hoër molekulêre massas kon deur middel van AF4 vir UHMM polibutadieenpolimere raakgesien word as gevolg van die verminderde afbrekende degradasie wat dikwels voorkom met SEC. Jel-bevattende spesies is suksesvol geïdentifiseer met behulp van AF4 waartydens geen filtrering vir analise nodig was nie. Abnormale retensie was sigbaar tydens SEC analise van monsters van polirotaksane, wat dikwels voorkom in vertakte polimere. In teenstelling het AF4 bewys dat ‘n bevredigende skeiding van klein na groot molekulêre massas, sonder enige tekortkominge, moontlik is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19997
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