Effectively Analyzing Polymers Using IR, Raman Spectroscopy and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry

The polymer industry is one of the world’s largest industrial sectors.  Almost all consumer products are composed of polymers of some sort.  These products range across items like automobiles, pharmaceuticals, toys, packaging, computer and cell phones, and so on.  There are a few areas where characterizing these polymer-based objects can be important: first is performing a quick polymer identification for recycling purposes; second is quality control to identify product defects or failures; and third is reverse engineering to facilitate product development in a highly competitive marketplace.  Vibrational spectroscopy (infrared (IR) and Raman) is especially useful for the analysis of polymers in an industrial setting.  IR and Raman are highly specific and sensitive tools that are non-destructive and easy to use.  Examples will be presented demonstrating the effectiveness of IR and Raman analysis in each of these categories.

Mass Spectrometry (MS) has become an indispensable tool for polymer analysis and has been widely used to study polymer structure and composition, end-groups and additives, molecular weight distribution, and so on.  MS analysis is extremally sensitive, allowing the detection and identification of minor polymer components and synthesis by-products, as well as low-level impurities and products of decomposition.  Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) allows to perform rapid MS analysis without lengthy pre-separation and with minimal sample preparation.  MALDI MS can provide structural and copolymer composition information, as well as be used for imaging of polymer surfaces, characterization of complex polymer mixtures and many other analytical tasks.  In this webinar, we will discuss several MS analytical techniques and their applications for polymer analysis using real life examples from the industry and academia.


Dr. Tom Tague

Applications Manager and Chair of the Safety Committee Bruker Corporation

Dr. Tom Tague is the Applications Manager (FTIR and Raman products) and Chair of the Safety Committee for Bruker Corporation. He is also a member of the Visiting Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Advisory Board of Amplified Sciences. Dr. Tague received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Physical Chemistry and his B.S. in Chemistry, from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He conducted his postdoctoral research at the University of Virginia working with professor Lester Andrews. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, the American Physical Society, and the Optical Society of America. Dr. Tague is active in developing new methods and instrumentation with the goal of improving the sensitivity and detection limits of spectroscopy related applications. Dr. Tague has more than 80 publications and 5 patents.

Dr. Artem Filipenko

Dr. Artem Filipenko has over 15 years of industry experience in development of innovative methods and instrumentation for various analytical applications, including food, environmental, industrial, and homeland security. His area of professional expertise ranges from Ion Mobility, Mass Spectrometry, and Gamma Spectroscopy to molecular and nuclear physics. Artem holds a doctorate degree in molecular physics and master’s degree in microelectronics from the National Nuclear Research University in Moscow, as well as master’s degree in business administration from Babson College in Boston.