Phase Separation in Polymer Solutions and Gels

Polymer Separation Experiments with Online Mid-IR and Raman Spectroscopy

This presentation details advantages and limitations of in-situ instruments applied to online IR/Raman measurements for separations of model polymeric materials, such as poly(methyl methacrylate) and polystyrene, with additional discussion on the advances of hyphenated techniques, such as GPC-IR. 

In-situ, portable IR and Raman spectroscopy have been used in the chemical industry for optimal reaction and process, allowing for fast/real time composition monitoring. Both have the advantages of requiring little or no sample preparation, providing opportunities for automated chemometric data analysis. In-situ, portable IR and Raman can also be leveraged across different labs and research sites. Not only does their portability allow for detailed reaction monitoring, but they can also be easily coupled using flow cell technology to monitor composition of separation experiments, such as gel permeation chromatography (GPC).

The development of methods that couple online IR/Raman analysis of separated fractions allows for improved analysis of polymers with multi-dimensional distributions, answers compositional questions related to sample heterogeneity and can resolve issues of complex macromolecular structure distributions. 


Mary Alice Upshur, PhD

The Dow Chemical Company

Mary Alice Upshur is a Senior Research Specialist at the Dow Chemical Company. She received her PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University, where her studies focused on the synthesis and analysis of atmospheric secondary organic aerosols, including surface specific analyses, using Sum Frequency Generation spectroscopy. She joined Dow in 2017 as part of Analytical Sciences group in Core R&D. In this capacity, she supports macromolecular characterization of polymer materials using IR and Raman spectroscopy. Much of her work has focused on the analysis of acrylic-based polymer materials, including in situ reaction analysis. In addition, she also completed rotational research assignments in Dow Performance Silicones and Dow Home & Personal Care.