Polymer branching can have an enormous effect on the physical properties of the final synthesized polymer. Branching can disrupt crystallinity, increase chain entanglements, increase single chain density, and affect a variety of polymer properties such as glass transition temperature, modulus, toughness, etc. Understanding polymer branching and its effects on a polymer’s end-use properties can help avoid failures and improve specifications. This Application Note describes the GPC (or equivalently SEC) analysis of branching in polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). PVP is a polymer used in applications as a binder, as a thickening agent, in adhesives and in coatings and films. These uses necessitate the manufacturer to have an understanding of the polymer structure to know how the final product will perform.
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