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Static light scattering (SLS) is a technique to measure absolute molecular weight using the relationship between the intensity of light scattered by a molecule and its molecular weight and size, as described by the Rayleigh theory. In the simplest terms, Rayleigh theory says that larger molecules scatter more light than smaller molecules from a given light source and that the intensity of the scattered light is proportional to the molecule’s molecular weight.

There are two ways to measure absolute molecular weight by SLS:

  1. Batch measurement using a cuvette
  2. In combination with a chromatography instrument.

Batch measurement with cuvette based instruments, such as the Zetasizer series, is an ensemble technique. Therefore the result calculated is the weight average molecular weight of the entire sample measured.

However, the most common way of measuring absolute molecular weight is to add an SLS detector e.g. Low Angle Light Scattering LALS, Right Angle Light Scattering RALS or Multi Angle Light Scattering MALS to a GPC/SEC system. By combining SLS with the separation technique you can calculate the absolute molecular weight at any point in the eluting chromatogram and determining the molecular weight of any population in a mixed sample becomes possible.

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OMNISEC The world’s most advanced multi-detector GPC/SEC system molecular weight, molecular size, molecular structure, intrinsic viscosity by size exclusion chromatography with OMNISEC
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Colloidal Stability & Conformational Changes in β-Lactoglobulin: Unfolding Unfolding to Self-Assembly Article (English)

A detailed understanding of the mechanism of unfolding, aggregation, and associated rheological changes is developed in this study for β-Lactoglobulin at different pH values through concomitant measurements utilizing dynamic light scattering (DLS), o...



Characterization of IgG monomers & their aggregates Application Note (English)

Two antibody samples were characterized using column calibration and multi-detection SEC, and the results compared to show how multi-detection SEC provides more accurate data and a more complete characterization of the protein mixtures under study.



The Mark–Houwink plot – Differentiation of Branching and Composition Application Note (English)

Using OMNISEC, we will show how to separate the effects of a structural difference induced by a compositional change to a polymer (e.g. substitution) and the structural change induced by polymer chain branching.


Keywords: English Application Note Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight OMNISEC 

GPC/SEC analysis of polylactic acid (PLA) and poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) using OMNISEC Application Note (English)

In this application note, a selection of different PLA and PLGA polymer samples were analyzed on Malvern's OMNISEC GPC/SEC system, which combines multiple detectors to provide information about structure and solution properties.



Multi-detection GPC/SEC research papers: Top 3 by industry Technical Note (English)

A summary of the three top academic research papers covering different research topics which show how multi-detector GPC/SEC can be used for different applications.


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