Dr. Stepan Podzimek discusses the limitations of size-exclusion chromatography and how they can be solved using multi-angle light scattering and asymmetric-flow field-flow fractionation.

Size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), also known as gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), has become the dominant technique for the determination of molar mass distributions of synthetic and natural polymers. The method is relatively simple and easy to use. However, limitations of this technique may lead to results that are not only incorrect, but even completely misleading.

The principal limitations of SEC are: 1) lack of appropriate column calibration standards; 2) non-ideal separation due to column interactions beyond purely steric; and 3) shear degradation of HMW fractions. These limitations can revealed—and often solved—by incorporating a multi-angle light scattering (MALS) detector following the SEC separation. Shear degradation and most of the non-steric effects can be eliminated by applying an alternative separation technique, asymmetric-flow field-flow fractionation (AF4).

Key Topics Include:

  • Separation principles of SEC and AF4
  • Non-steric separation mechanisms
  • Why SEC with column calibration often provides incorrect molar mass distributions
  • Theory and instrumentation of multi-angle light scattering

Who Should Attend?

The webinar is intended for all scientists interested in detailed characterization of synthetic and natural polymers, especially SEC users and those who are interested in learning about an alternative separation technique offering advantages over SEC.



Scientific Consultant
Wyatt Technology

Prof. Stepan Podzimek works as a scientific consultant for Wyatt Technology. In addition to his position at Wyatt Technology, he is also working as a head of the Department of Analytical and Physical Chemistry at a Czech R&D company SYNPO, and holds a professorial position at the Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Macromolecular Materials in the Faculty of Chemical Technology of the University of Pardubice in the Czech Republic. He has been working in the field of polymer analysis and characterization for over 40 years. His research interests include methodology of the characterization of the molecular and chemical structure of synthetic and natural polymers by size exclusion chromatography, asymmetric flow field flow fractionation, liquid chromatography, and viscometry of dilute polymer solutions. In particular, he has focused on the characterization of branched polymers and structure-property relationships. He is an author or co-author of over 60 scientific papers and the author of a book entitled “Light Scattering, Size Exclusion Chromatography and Asymmetric Flow Field Flow Fractionation” published by Wiley.

Production Partner

Wyatt Technology

Wyatt Technology is the recognized leader in light scattering instrumentation and field-flow fractionation systems for determining the absolute molar mass, size, charge and interactions of macromolecules and nanoparticles in solution. Wyatt’s scientific tools support the pharmaceutical industry, academia and government labs worldwide, in the research and development of novel therapeutics including vaccines, gene vectors, nano-drug carriers, monoclonal antibodies, and other advanced pharmaceuticals, as well as fundamental life and material sciences.

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