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Advances in Next-Generation Polyolefin Standard Reference Materials



Sara V. Orski, Wesley S. Farrell, Andre M. Striegel, Kathryn L. Beers


NIST’s approach to modernizing its synthetic polymer reference materials is to target precise and robust synthetic methods, making homogeneous standards than can be easily tailored to include desired chemistry, molar mass, and topography. This strategy aims to meet the increasing demand for novel standards that are relevant to advanced materials and with minimial development time. Here, an alternative approach to synthetic linear and branched polyethylenes has been developed using a commercial metathesis catalyst to generate polyolefins with low polydispersity and sequence control, where the degree of alkyl branching and alkyl branching distribution are known. This process is adaptable to many branch lengths and varied chemistries as it only requires replacement of the monomer feedstock with the desired chemical functionality. The resulting materials are characterized using size-exclusion chromatography with tetra detection to measure the molar mass, molar mass distribution, and degree of short chain branching. In addition to their role as potential standard reference materials (SRMs), these polymers are also being applied to study the effect of branching on polymer chain thermodynamics at surfaces, and comparing experimental results to established theoretical models
Proceedings Title
2017 TechConnect World Innovation Conference - Materials for Oil & Gas
Conference Dates
May 15-17, 2017
Conference Location
Oxon Hill, MD
Conference Title
2017 TechConnect World Innovation Conference


polyolefins, standards, short-chain branching, molar mass, surfaces


Orski, S. , Farrell, W. , Striegel, A. and Beers, K. (2017), Advances in Next-Generation Polyolefin Standard Reference Materials, 2017 TechConnect World Innovation Conference - Materials for Oil & Gas, Oxon Hill, MD, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created May 17, 2017, Updated September 28, 2017