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Techniques & Tools Polymers, Liquid Chromatography

Tackling Multidimensional Multi-polydispersity

I work at DSM, a company active in health, nutrition and materials. Being responsible for the competence field “Molecular characterization of synthetic polymers,” two-dimensional separation techniques and developments are very relevant to my work. To meet increasing customer demands, our materials have become gradually more complex – and for synthetic polymers, that means we are dealing with increasingly complex sets of molecules that are ‘multi-polydisperse.’ To understand polymer properties, we have to gain good knowledge of the exact molecular constitution of these molecular assemblies, which means increasing the resolution of our analytical toolbox. As polydispersity can only be determined by separation-based techniques, the issue of ‘multi-polydispersity’ can only be tackled by coupled separation techniques – and for polymers, that means 2D-LC predominantly.

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About the Author

Harry Philipsen

Harry Philipsen obtained his PhD at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) in 1998, on the thesis “Mechanisms of Gradient Polymer Elution Chromatography and its Applications to (co)Polyesters.” From 1987 to 2007 he worked at Océ Technlogies, Venlo as analytical chemist and group leader specializing in liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry and as analytical researcher for chemicals, mechanisms and their interactions and functioning in printer systems. In 2007 he started at DSM Resolve as Business Development Manager, connecting the outside world to the facilities of DSM Resolve. He was active in projects on breath analysis together with the Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC) and was co-founder and chairman of United Brains Limburg (UBL) connecting SME to knowledge centers in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. In 2011 he was appointed Cluster Manager of the Polymers cluster of DSM Resolve (25 FTE). After being responsible for resources management for five years, he moved to a scientific position again as of 2016, being scientifically responsible for molecular characterization (quantification and molecular structures) of synthetic polymers within DSM - as Program Manager and Project Director. From 2009-2012 he was visiting scientist and lecturer in analytical chemistry at the TU/e. From 2007 until 2015 he was chairman of the Section Analytical Chemistry (SAC) of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society (KNCV) and since 1998 he has chaired the Discussion Group separation methods of Polymers (DSP) of KNCV-SAC.

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