Unsaturation Characterization of Polyolefins by NMR and Thermal Gradient NMR (TGNMR) with a High Temperature Cryoprobe



Summary: It is important to identify the types of unsaturation and to quantify the amount of unsaturation in polyolefins for understanding chain termination mechanisms of polymerization with different catalysts. Unsaturation is also closely related to processibility, weatherability of polyolefin products and the level of antioxidants to be added for stabilizing purposes. However, it can be very challenging to accurately measure samples with a low level of the unsaturation within a reasonable amount of NMR acquisition time, along with some challenging technical issues, such as dynamic range with 1H NMR. This paper reports a new method to accurately quantify unsaturation by using multi peak presaturation 1H NMR with a high temperature NMR cryoprobe. The limit of quantification can be less than 1 unsaturation/1,000,000 carbons with about 30 min NMR acquisition. This paper also introduces a new technique, temperature gradient NMR (TGNMR) with or without substrates, to characterize unsaturation distribution directly in NMR tube upon temperature change.