PC Painter and MM Coleman
Essentials of Polymer Science
(DEStech Publications)

Chapter 12

Read Carefully before Studying through the chapter
For this chapter, you need not know most of the mathematics, any of the equations, and the derivations thereof. What you need to take away from this chapter are the following concepts:
Concepts that you must know:
  1. Methods for Molecular Weight Determination: relative vs. absolute methods (definitions), principles of operation for osmometry, light scattering, solution viscometry incl. the various definitions of viscosity given, and SEC (GPC) including the hydrodynamic volume concept.
  2. Virial expansion: this is the single one equation that you must understand its physical meaning and why/how it is applied in all methods.
  3. Necessity of Zimm plots, why is the construction of a Zimm plot necessary to estimate a molecular weight from a light scattering experiment?
  4. Various definitions of viscosity: relative, specific, reduced, and intrinsic viscosity.
  5. SEC/GPC methods are the most commonly used methods for Mn and Mw enumeration. Thus, you need to understand the principles of operation and calibration, also the concepts of hydrodynamic volume and of the universal calibration curve.