New Test Material From NIST

March 23, 2009

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed and issued for sale a new test material for calibrating quality control equipment used extensively by the polymer industry.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed and issued for sale a new test material for calibrating quality control equipment used extensively by the polymer industry. The product of a five-year effort that also produced significant improvements in mass spectrometry techniques for analyzing polymers, the new NIST reference material is the first to offer manufacturers a test sample with a known—and verified—distribution of molecular masses.

The new material, NIST Standard Reference Material (SRM) 2881, “Polystyrene Absolute Molecular Mass Distribution Standard,” provides the absolute molecular masses of 43 different lengths of polystyrene molecules and their cumulative contribution to the total mass of the sample from 1 to 99 percent. Developing the new SRM, according to project leader William Wallace, involved a long process of analyzing and optimizing all aspects of the sample preparation, an international comparison of results from different laboratories, and developing improved tools for measuring individual molecular masses using matrix assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF).

The NIST reference material is polystyrene, and it can be used to calibrate mass distribution measurements for a broad range of polymers.

Related Content:

News