Gel permeation chromatography (GPC) is often used to determine molecular weight. In GPC the time taken for polymer chains to pass through a column of porous beads is affected by their molecular weight. The fraction of the polymer within chains of a given molecular weight range can be calculated to find the distribution of molecular weights. However, it may not be possible to differentiate between low molecular weight chains, which are beyond the scope of GPC. As a result, it may be most appropriate for theoretical calculations of molecular weight to exclude chains below a certain length. It may also be the case that water-soluble chains can diffuse out of the polymer in which case, they would be excluded from GPC analysis.
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Last date updated on July, 2014