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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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Structure-molecular weight relationships of synthetic polymers Application Note (English)

In this application note, the structural distribution of some common polymers are compared using the Mark-Houwink plot. The data are all generated using the advanced OMNISEC multi-detector GPC/SEC system


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


Ten reasons protein characterization scientists should upgrade from single to multi-detector SEC Whitepaper (English)

The top 10 reasons to consider an advanced multi-detector SEC system, which incorporates light scattering detectors for the measurement of absolute molecular weight and molecular weight distribution with excellent accuracy.


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The top ten reasons to consider an advanced multi-detector GPC system, which incorporates light scattering detectors for the measurement of absolute molecular weight and molecular weight distribution with excellent accuracy.


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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.


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