Specific refractive index increment (dn/dc) of polymers at 660 nm and 690 nm
Andre M. Striegel
The specific refractive index increment (dn/dc) is an essential datum for the accurate quantitation of molar mass averages and distributions (inter alia) of macromolecules when refractometry, static light scattering, and/or viscometry detection are coupled on-line to size-based separation techniques. The latter include methods such as size-exclusion and hydrodynamic chromatography, and asymmetric and hollow-fiber flow field-flow fractionation. The dn/dc is also needed for accurate determination of the weight-average molar mass of polymers by off-line, batch-mode multi-angle static light scattering. However, not only does dn/dc differ among chemical species, it also depends on experimental conditions such as solvent, temperature, and wavelength. For the last seventeen years, the authors laboratories have measured the dn/dc of a variety of natural and synthetic polymers, at both 690 nm and, more recently, 660 nm, under a variety of solvent and temperature conditions. In all cases, this has been done by off-line, batch-mode differential refractometry, not by assuming 100% analyte column recovery and 100% accurate peak integration. Results of these determinations are presented here, along with the relevant experimental data.