Surface modified polymers are found in a variety of industrial applications ranging from highpower transmission line insulators to chromatographic packaging materials. Infrared spectroscopy has routinely been used to characterize the surface of these materials but often requires sample preparation which may alter the form of the polymer. By using a photoacoustic detector, the infrared spectra of surface modified polymers can be obtained. The polymeric material examined in this study, polystyrene(divinylbenzene), is routinely used as a chromatographic packing material for high performance liquid chromatography. The surface of the polymer was modified to produce surface functionalities more amenable to bonding with a liquid phase than the native copolymer. This paper describes the use of photoacoustic infrared spectroscopy to determine the molecular structure of this modified polymer surface.

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