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Polymer Characterization Facility

For more information about the Polymer Characterization Facility capabilities and usage please contact:
Dr. Damon Smith
4.116 NST
1 University Station A5500
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 232-3694

This facility is equipped to characterize materials with regard to their thermal properties and, for polymeric materials, their molecular weight (distribution) and size (in solution).

Specifically, the facility contains the following equipment:

Differential scanning calorimeter (Perkin Elmer DSC 7)

Monitors heat flow into and out of a sample as a function of temperature to provide information regarding heat capacity, phase transitions and characteristics of relaxation transitions.

Thermagravimetric analysis (Perkin Elmer TGA 7)

Monitors sample weight as a function of temperature and time to provide information regarding decomposition, depolymerization, volatile species, water content, etc.

Size exclusion chromatography (SEC)

Can provide both relative and "absolute" molecular weights (Mn and Mw), depending on configuration in which it is operated and which detectors are employed and used together in the data analysis. Equipment contains a dual refractive index and viscometric detectors and also has the option to include a light scattering detector. This equipment is routinely used with THF as its mobile phase, although others can also be employed.

Static light scattering (Wyatt Technology Dawn EOS)

Contains a multi-angle diode array that is capable of absolute moleuclar weight (Mw) determination, as well as the radius of gyration for larger molecules (Rg > ~10nm).

Differential refractometer (Wyatt Technology, Optilab DSP)

Provides extremely accurate measurement of differential refractive index between a sample and a reference cell. This unit can also be used in a batch mode to determine dn/dc values for samples that are to be analyzed by the Dawn EOS system.

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