Polydispersity Analysis of Taylor Dispersion Data: The Cumulant Method


Subjects: Polymers, Technology

Taylor dispersion analysis is an increasingly popular characterization method that measures the diffusion coefficient, and hence the hydrodynamic radius, of (bio)polymers, nanoparticles, or even small molecules. In this work, we describe an extension to current data analysis schemes that allows size polydispersity to be quantified for an arbitrary sample, thereby significantly enhancing the potentiality of Taylor dispersion analysis. The method is based on a cumulant development similar to that used for the analysis of dynamic light scattering data. Specific challenges posed by the cumulant analysis of Taylor dispersion data are discussed, and practical ways to address them are proposed. We successfully test this new method by analyzing both simulated and experimental data for solutions of moderately polydisperse polymers and polymer mixtures.