Polymer characterization is vital to ensure quality and consistency among polymeric products. Although there are many analytical methods that are used for QA/QC, NMR Spectroscopy is useful to: (i) observe reaction completeness & uniformity; (ii) qualify the relative composition of the structural components; (iii) quantify the relative percentage of structural isomers; (iv) observe the presence of stereoisomers and determine polymeric tacticity; and (v) determine molecular weight (Mw), molecular number (Mn) and polydispersity index (PDI). Even though this has been done on high-field instruments for years, it can be expensive, and, depending on the accessibility/availability of a spectrometer, time consuming. Given that polymer chemistry is not sample limited, and that polymer 1H NMR is often defined by broad, poorly defined peak areas and resolution and peak definition is not a large issue, this is an application ideal for study by either 1H or 19F benchtop NMR. For an example please see co-polymer composition determination.
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