What does my sample dissolve in?
An important step when considering how to run chromatography on a sample is determining whether a suitable solvent (and thus, a suitable mobile phase) for dissolution exists. This is especially important for the analysis of polymers by Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC). Some solvents may create aggregates unsuitable for analysis, while others may simply swell the sample due to the presence of crosslinked material. Dissolution studies will often begin with a thorough look at the sample’s chemistry by identifying features such as monomer composition, copolymer configuration (block, statistical, etc.), crosslinking, functionality, polarity, and other parameters.
Once these parameters have been considered, a number of solvents, time-points, and temperatures will be selected to investigate the sample’s solubility. A quick, initial visual inspection of the sample solution allows the analyst to infer whether the sample appears to dissolve in the chosen solvent. This is because a dissolved sample should produce a clear solution, while an insoluble or partially dissolved sample will create a cloudy solution. Further screening can then be done by running GPC with light scattering to investigate whether you’re solvent/temperature/and time-point selections have fully dissolved the sample.
Having difficulty dissolving your sample? Contact Jordi Labs for a dissolution study today!