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Polymers 2017, 9(2), 61; doi:10.3390/polym9020061

Characterization of Comb-Shaped Copolymers by Multidetection SEC, DLS and SANS

1
Institute for Building Materials, ETH Zurich, CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
2
Soft Matter Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, CNRS, ESPCI Paris, PSL Research University, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France
3
Soft Matter Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Sorbonne-Universités, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005 Paris, France
4
Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), CH-5232 Villigen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Philipp Vana
Received: 13 October 2016 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 14 February 2017
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Abstract

PolyCarboxylate ether-based superplasticizers (PCEs) are a type of comb-shaped copolymers used as polymeric dispersants in cementitious materials. PCEs have a high degree of dispersity, which limits the suitability of conventional characterization techniques, such as Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC). Properties of PCEs strongly depend on their molecular structure and a comprehensive characterization is needed to fully understand the structure–property relationships. PCEs with well-defined molecular structures were synthesized to study their solution conformation by SEC and scattering techniques. The combined use of SEC, dynamic light scattering and small-angle neutron scattering allowed us to demonstrate the validity of a scaling law describing the radius of gyration of comb-shaped copolymers as a function of their molecular structure. Moreover, we show that the use of SEC with standard calibration, although widely spread, is not adequate for PCEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: comb-shaped copolymers; superplasticizer; solution conformation; radius of gyration; multidetection size-exclusion chromatography; dynamic light scattering; small-angle neutron scattering comb-shaped copolymers; superplasticizer; solution conformation; radius of gyration; multidetection size-exclusion chromatography; dynamic light scattering; small-angle neutron scattering
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Gelardi, G.; Sanson, N.; Nagy, G.; Flatt, R.J. Characterization of Comb-Shaped Copolymers by Multidetection SEC, DLS and SANS. Polymers 2017, 9, 61.

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