Tulane PolyRMC, the academic research partner of Fluence Analytics, recently published a peer-reviewed article for Macromolecular Reaction Engineering that details the use of ACOMP, coupled with an FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy) detector, to continuously monitor and characterize a copolymerization reaction of acrylate monomers with an indistinguishable UV spectra. Typically for ACOMP applications, a UV detector and a differential refractive index detector can measure monomer conversion, but measuring the conversion of comonomers with similar UV profiles is sometimes unsuccessful when using these detectors alone. However, the addition of an FTIR detector can help distinguish the conversion signals for the comonomers. This new peer-reviewed article details how the coupling of an FTIR detector to ACOMP allows for the tracking of distinct absorption peaks and the measuring of their individual concentrations.
The publication documents the real-time monitoring of separate comonomer conversion during a solution copolymerization of tert-butyl acrylate and n-butyl acrylate. The incorporation of FTIR measurements into the ACOMP platform opens the path for real-time monitoring to a wide variety of copolymerization reactions, including systems of three or more comonomers. Furthermore, FTIR could be a key new ACOMP detector in the journey toward the fully automatic feedback control of composition and molecular weight in polymerization reactions.