Pioneering analytical technologies
Understanding the composition and structure of a material is essential for the study of its properties and defining its use. In the Soft Matter Materials Laboratory, advanced modes to obtain information on the chemical structure of a sample as a function of its molar mass are being developed. Complex systems such as highly charged poly(ionic liquids) or Single Chain Nanoparticles (SCNPs) are precisely analysed via Size-Exclusion Chromatography hyphenated to Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (SEC ESI−MS). Pioneering SEC ESI-MS analytical technique has allowed our team to push the boundaries of analytical science to better understand how synthetic macromolecules form.
Employing SEC ESI-MS techniques allows for the generation of accurate maps of the polymer chain distributions with respect to composition and end group fidelity. Key areas of interest in our team include the development of protocols that allow the efficient ionization of variable polymer structures ranging from polar (such as polyacrylates) to non-polar (such as polystyrenes), the determination of end group chemistries via ion trapping experiments as well as the increase of both sensitivity and resolution of synthetic polymer MS.