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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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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.


Keywords: English Technical Note Viscotek range Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography 

Anaysis of PLGA Molecular Weight and Structure by the latest Adavanced Multi-Detector GPC Systems Poster (English)

Different samples of commercially available PLGA were analyzed to compare their absolute molecular weight from light scattering to those quoted with the product. Additionally, the Mark-Houwink plots of different examples containing different ratios o...


Keywords: Polymer solutions English Poster Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography OMNISEC 

Characterizing polymers: Techniques for the measurement of molecular weight, molecular size and branching. Whitepaper (English)

A review of the methods available for measuring the key characteristics of polymers focusing on the benefits and value of gel permeation/size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC). Much of the paper talks exclusively about polymers, however many of the ...


Keywords: Polymer solutions English Whitepaper Zetasizer range Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography Polymers, plastics and rubbers Adhesives and sealants Paints, inks and coatings Food additives Polysaccharides OMNISEC 

Compositional insights for protein mixtures: a case study of a semi-pure β-amylase extract Application Note (English)

In this application note, we describe the analysis of a semi-purified protein mixture containing β-amylase.  Step-by-step, we show how different properties of the proteins elicit a specific response in each detector and how the coupling this data can...


Keywords: English Application Note Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography Protein aggregation Proteins Biopharmaceutical development OMNISEC 

Structural elucidation of dextrans and other polysaccharides using OMNISEC Multi-Detection GPC Application Note (English)

A series of dextran samples ranging in molecular weight from about 1– 650 kDa are characterized using OMNISEC. Structural comparisons to other polysaccharides, gum arabic and pectin are presented


Keywords: Polymer solutions English Application Note Molecular structure Molecular size Molecular weight Gel Permeation Chromatography Static Light Scattering Size Exclusion Chromatography Polymers from renewable sources Polysaccharides OMNISEC 
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