The structures and dynamics of polymer materials are highly complex and their detailed characterization is both challenging and indispensable. Without detailed knowledge of their structures and dynamics, polymers cannot be further developed to tackle fundamental issues in arguably the most important problems facing humankind in the 21st century: energy, environment, and human health. NMR spectroscopy is particularly suited to polymer characterization because it offers several important advantages, such as unprecedented site selectivity, structure determination involving configuration, conformation, local packing, and phase separation over a wide range of length scales. This is augmented by unique capabilities in elucidating dynamics over extended time- and length scales, including the geometry of rotational and translational motions as well as conformational transitions. Last, but not least, NMR spectroscopy can nowadays equally well be applied to polymers in all states: polymer solutions, melts, gels, and crystalline as well as amorphous solids.
Moreover, NMR spectroscopy has undergone a dramatic development during the past 50 years or so. Consequently, numerous books and reviews have been published throughout the years. The current volume is part of a series on New Developments in NMR and it is highly appropriate to include a book on NMR characterization of polymers in that series. The authors are active key players in the field and their work assures that NMR spectroscopy will remain an indispensable tool in polymer science for years to come.
Hans Wolfgang Spiess