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GPC Columns

GPC/SEC columns are the heart of a GPC/SEC system. Polymer Standards Service (PSS), whose specialty is macromolecular liquid chromatography, is recognised as the leader of the global GPC/SEC market. PSS GPC/SEC column materials are available in several particle sizes – from 3 μm to 20 μm.

PSS Magic Triangle – How to Select An Appropriate GPC/SEC Column

PSS offers the widest range of column materials with different polarity that is optimised for aqueous and organic mobile phases. The key to successful GPC/SEC separations is the choice of columns. Interaction-free GPC/SEC requires a balanced system of sample, mobile phase, and stationary phase (column material). The sample chemistry and polarity determines the choice of solvent (mobile phase).

GPC/SEC requires minimized interactions between sample and stationary phase. The selection of the best mobile and stationary phase is therefore the most critical parameter for successful GPC/SEC. In general, the sample is the determinant factor. The polarity of the sample defines the polarity of the solvent and therefore also that of the stationary phase. The PSS Magic Triangle provides a quick visual aid for the selection of columns, where the three components are balanced. Each of the polarities, sample, mobile phase, stationary phase, is represented on one of the sides of the Magic Triangle.
Using the PSS Magic Triangle

For organic GPC, locate the polarity that best describes the sample on the left side of the triangle. Follow the equilateral triangle to identify the best suited mobile phase and then the correct stationary phase.
For aqueous systems, the ionic character of the sample and the pH of the mobile phase is taken into account instead.

Organic Solvents

SDV GPC Column

Stationary Phase: Styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer network
Mobile Phase: THF, Toluene, TCM, DCM
Applicability: Poly(styrene), poly(vinyl chloride), poly(carbonate), elastomers, resins and others


Stationary Phase: Polyester copolymer network
Mobile Phase: DMF, DMAc, NMP, DMSO
Applicability: Polyurethane, polyimide, starches, celluloses, certain polyamide, other polar polymers

PolarSil GPC Column

Stationary Phase: Polar modified silica
Mobile Phase: DMF, DMAc, NMP, DMSO
Applicability: Low to medium molar mass resins and lignins

PFG GPC Column

Stationary Phase: Modified silica
Mobile Phase: HFIP, TFE, other fluorinated solvents
Applicability: Crystalline polymers, polyesters, nylons, poly(lactide), POM


Stationary Phase: Modified styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer network
Mobile Phase: TCB, o-DCB, Decalin
Applicability: Poly(ethylene), poly(propylene), other polyolefins

Aqueous Solvents


Stationary Phase: Modified acrylate copolymer network
Mobile Phase: Water (with salts/buffers, MeOH, ACN) pH: 1.5 – 13
Applicability: Neutral and anionic polymers (PEO, PEG, pullulan, dextran, poly(acrylamide), hyaluronic acid, poly(acrylic acid), carboxymethyl cellulose, etc.


Stationary Phase: NH-functionalized acrylate copolymer network
Mobile Phase: Water, water with salt/buffer, MeOH, ACN, TFA; pH: 1.5 – 7.0
Applicability: Cationic polymers, (polymeric quarternary ammonium compounds, poly (DADMAC), poly(vinylpyridine), chitosan, poly(ethyleneimine), etc.)

MCX SEC Column

Stationary Phase: Sulfonated styrene-divinylbenzene copolymer-network
Mobile Phase: Water, water with salt/buffer, MeOH, ACN; pH: 7 - 13
Applicability: Sulfonated polyanions, poly(styrenesulfonate), lignin sulfonate, modified starches, acids, alcohols, pectins, etc.)


Stationary Phase: Special modified silica
Mobile Phase: Water, water with salt/buffer, MeOH, ACN; pH: < 7
Applicability: Natural and synthetic proteins, peptides, enzymes, gelatins/collagens

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