Acoustic determination of polymer molecular weights and rotation times

Kathryn Melzak, Fabrice Martin, Michael Newton, Glen McHale, Electra Gizeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

An acoustic waveguide device was shown to be sensitive to the molecular weight of poly(ethylene glycol) in solution over a molecular weight range determined by the operating frequency of the device. The acoustic device used generates a shear wave with displacement in the plane of the device surface and normal to the direction of propagation. Liquid over the device exhibits viscous coupling to the oscillating surface, affecting propagation of the acoustic wave. The propagation loss was shown to be directly proportional to the weight percentage of the solute. For a given weight percent of polymer in solution, the loss increased with increasing molecular weight until a maximum loss value was reached; this may be due to the fact that rotational times for polymer molecules increase with molecular weight until they reach a point at which the rotation is limited by the oscillation time on the device surface. The molecular weight at which the maximum loss value was attained was 10,000 g/mol for a device operating at 104 MHz and 3350 g/mol for a device operating at 331 MHz, implying a rotational time of 1 ns for each 2200 increase in molecular weight.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1490-1495
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2002

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Love wave
  • sensor
  • acoustic wave


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