A brief guide to polymer characterization: structure (IUPAC technical report)


To bolster the series of Brief Guides released by International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), here we introduce the first Brief Guide to Polymer Characterization. This article provides a concise overview of characterization methods for teachers, students, non-specialists, and newcomers to polymer science as well as being a useful manual for researchers and technicians. Unlike pure low molar mass chemical substances, polymers are not composed of identical molecules. The macromolecules which comprise a single polymer sample vary from one another, primarily in terms of size and shape, but often also in the arrangement or positioning of atoms within macromolecules (e.g., chain branching, isomerism, etc.). Polymer properties are often drastically different from those of other substances and their characterization relies on specialist equipment and/or common equipment used in a specialized way (e.g., particular sample preparation or data analysis). This Brief Guide focuses uniquely on the structural characterization (i.e., analyzing the molecular and multi-molecular aspects) of polymers. The complex nature of the structural variables possible in macromolecular materials often presents a challenge with regard to the detailed structural characterization of polymers. This Brief Guide provides a useful starting point to direct the reader to the most commonly used and useful techniques to characterize these structural variables.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pac-2022-0602
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR)
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Polymer Research Group
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Engineering for Health
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > Aston Advanced Materials
Additional Information: Copyright © 2023 IUPAC & De Gruyter. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For more information, please visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/. Research funding: This work was prepared under project 2015-049-1-400 of IUPAC, and this paper also acknowledges IUPAC project 2017-005-3-500.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Analytical chemistry,analytical techniques,macromolecules,physical chemistry,polymers,polymer characterization
Publication ISSN: 1365-3075
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 08:27
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2023 11:05
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.deg ... -2022-0602/html (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-10-01
Published Online Date: 2023-08-16
Accepted Date: 2023-07-12
Authors: Topham, Paul D. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4152-6976)
Boucher, Raymond J.
Chang, Taihyun
Smrčková, Miroslava Dušková
Farrell, Wesley S.
Hu, Wenbing
He, Jiasong
Hess, Michael
Hutchins-Crawford, Helena J.
Keddie, Daniel J.
Mallon, Peter E.
Merna, Jan
Stingelin, Natalie
Šturcová, Adriana
Vohlídal, Jiří

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