Phase fluctuation chromatography for large-scale separation of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile) by chemical composition

Yunmei Xu, Iwao Teraoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We propose phase fluctuation chromatography (PFC) to separate a large amount of random copolymers into fractions with different chemical compositions. PFC is based on the tendency of a concentrated solution of the copolymer to separate into different phases, each of which is enriched with components of a specific composition. When the multiphase solution is injected into a column packed with porous materials that have specific moieties, domains rich in a component with greater affinity to (or less repulsion from) the surface will be retained longer than the domains rich in the other component. Styrene-acrylonitrile copolymers with different acrylonitrile contents were used as model copolymers. The compositions of fractions obtained were determined from IR spectra. A silanol or diphenyl surface retained styrene-rich components longer than the other components, whereas a cyano surface attracted acrylonitrile-rich components. The separation resolution was better when the pore had a large surface area and selective surface moieties and when selective solvents and higher concentrations were used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4143-4148
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 30 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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