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Making MALDI-TOF-MS an Absolute Method for Determination of the MMD of Polymers



Charles M. Guttman, William R. Blair, S Wetzel


In 1963, Donald McIntyre of the NBS Polymers Division produced the first polymer molecular mass standards to be issued by NBS as Standard Reference Materials (SRM), SRM 705. The appearance of this SRM marked the beginning of a long and continuing tradition of production of polymer molecular mass standards characterized by absolute classical measurement methods that include static light scattering, membrane osmometry and ultracentrifugation. In 1997, the NIST Polymer Characterization group initiated an effort to utilize Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) Time of Flight (TOF) Mass Spectroscopy (MS) to obtain the molecular mass distribution (MMD) of synthetic polymers. This talk will describe current efforts using this method to obtain the absolute MMD of polymers for future SRM products.Specifically, we shall discuss work done by NIST on the sample preparation methodology to improve the repeatablity of the MALDI spectra, and a NIST-sponsored interlaboratory comparison that shows the robustness of the method from laboratory to laboratory.
Proceedings Title
Polymer Preprints for ACS 2001 March Meeting
Conference Dates
March 1, 2001
Conference Title
Polymer Preprints


absolute molecular, characterization, interlaboratory comparison, MALDI, mass spectrometry, matrix assisted laser desorption, molecular mass distribution, polymer characterization, single chain characterization


Guttman, C. , Blair, W. and Wetzel, S. (2001), Making MALDI-TOF-MS an Absolute Method for Determination of the MMD of Polymers, Polymer Preprints for ACS 2001 March Meeting, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created April 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017