In contrast to GPC, MALDI-TOF MS yields absolute molecular weights not relative ones. MALDI-TOF MS is a fast and versatile method to address challenges in the synthesis or quality control of polymers. Structural features such as polymer repeating units (monomer), sum mass of the polymer end-groups, polymer average masses Mn and Mw are readily available. MS/MS analysis using MALDI-TOF/TOF instrumentation yields information about the block length of di-block-copolymers and masses of single end-groups.
The simplicity of the measurement and the straightforward data analysis using dedicated software like PolyTools™ or Polymerix (Sierra Analytics) enables the user to get polymer structural information in a few minutes.
These days supply chains of raw material change quickly often accompanied with loss of information (silent change) which increases the need for a more thorough quality control of incoming goods. The inexpensive combination of thin layer chromatography (TLC) and MALDI-TOF MS is a valuable solution for this challenge.
Industrial materials such as polymer additives are often difficult to analyze using HPLC MS. Employing TLC MALDI is an alternative approach to reveal impurities or map changes against a standard.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in clinical diagnostic procedures.