Size exclusion chromatography (SEC), is an analytical technique that is used to analyse the size distribution of molecules in a sample. SEC separates molecules according to their size in a column filled with fine porous beads.
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Size exclusion chromatography (SEC), also known as gel permeation chromatography (GPC), is an analytical technique that separates molecules based on their size. It is used to analyse size distribution of the molecules in the sample. With calibration standards, SEC can be used to characterize molecular weights of unknown molecules. SEC can be used to measure polymers from a few hundred to several millions of Daltons.
Sample is dissolved to a solvent and dissolved molecules are separated by their particle size in a column filled with porous beads containing specific pore size distribution. Since the small molecules diffuse into the pores, the flow of molecules through the column slows down as particle size decreases. Large molecules do not fit in the pores and elute in the void space of the column. Therefore smaller dissolved molecules flow more slowly through the column than larger molecules allowing the size distribution to be recorded.
Suitable sample matrices
- Macro molecules
Ideal uses of SEC
- Molecule size distribution characterization
- Analysis of average molecular weights
Frequently asked questions
SEC is used to characterize the size distribution of macromolecules.
If the molecules have close molecular weight, it may be difficult to distinguish them leading to uncertainty in the analysis.
Solid macromolecule samples that can be dissolved.
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