Taylor Dispersion Analysis of Mixtures


Authors: Biron, Cottet, Martin
Subjects: Polymers

Taylor dispersion analysis (TDA) is a fast and simple method for determining hydrodynamic radii. In the case of sample mixtures, TDA, as the other nonseparative methods, leads to an average diffusion coefficient on the different molecules constituting the mixture. We set in this work the equations giving, on a consistent basis, the average values obtained by TDA with detectors with linear response functions. These equations confronted TDA experiments of sample mixtures containing different proportions of a small molecule and a polymer standard. Very good agreement between theory and experiment was obtained. In a second part of this work, on the basis of monomodal or bimodal molar mass distributions of polymers, the different average diffusion coefficients corresponding to TDA were compared to the z-average diffusion coefficient (Dz) obtained from dynamic light scattering (DLS) experiments and to the weight average diffusion coefficient (Dw). This latter value is sometimes considered as the most representative of the sample mixture. From these results, it appears that, for monomodal distribution and relatively low polydispersity (I = 1.15), the average diffusion coefficient generally derived from TDA is very close to Dw. However, for highly polydisperse samples (e.g., bimodal polydisperse distributions), important differences could be obtained (up to 35% between TDA and Dw). In all the cases, the average diffusion coefficient obtained by TDA for a mass concentration detector was closer to the Dw value than the z-average obtained by DLS.