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Chemical Analysis 

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (Thermo Fisher Nicolet iS10) – FTIR uses infrared absorbance of a sample to identify different bond types and functionality, representing the molecular ‘fingerprint’ of the sample. Attachments for this instrument include KBr pellets and MicroATR with a diamond tip. 

UV/Vis Spectrophotometer UV/Vis is used to identify compounds that are highly conjugated or contain transition metals. The instrument can be quantitative and provides insight into the absorbance spectra for a specific compound. 

Gel Permeation Chromatography Suite (TOSOH EcoSEC and 2x Waters 717) – GPC analyzes polymer size (hydrodynamic volume) and provides the molecular weight distribution for a given sample. These samples are related to a standard (Polystyrene, PEG, or PMMA) and use an RI detector to identify a compound. Instruments in DMF, Chloroform, and THF.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography Suite (Agilent 1260 Infinity II and 2x Waters Alliance 2695) – HPLC has the ability to separate, and identify compounds that are present in any sample that can be dissolved in a liquid in trace concentrations. Detectors our facility has include ultraviolet absorbance, refractive index, and evaporative light scattering.

Karl Fischer Titrator (Mettler Toledo KFXX) – Karl Fischer titration is a classic titration method in chemical analysis that uses coulometric or volumetric titration to determine trace amounts of water in a sample.

X-Ray Diffraction – X-ray diffraction (XRD) is used to determine the structure and crystallinity, in our case, of polymers. Powder diffraction (Rigaku DMax and Philips Xpert) and fiber diffraction (Siemens area detector) facilities are available.


Thermal Analysis

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (Mettler Toledo DSC823) – DSC has the ability to identify glass transition temperatures, crystallization temperatures, and melting temperatures of a material. 

Thermogravimetric Analysis (TA 550) – TGA is a technique that can quantify loss of water, loss of solvent, loss of plasticizer, decarboxylation, pyrolysis, oxidation, decomposition, weight % filler, amount of metallic catalytic residue remaining on carbon nanotubes, and weight % ash.

Surface Analysis

Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (Omega, Biolin scientific) – QCMD monitoring is used in the determination of film thickness in a liquid environment as well as surface properties of a material, including cell material interactions. 

Langmuir Balance – Langmuir balance is used to make pressure-surface area measurements that can be related to the changes in the surface energy characteristics of lipid and polymer layers spread on an aqueous surface resulting from their interaction with other molecules.

Contact Angle Goniometer (Rame-Hart 100-00) – A contact angle goniometer is used to measure the static, advancing and receding contact angles. It is used in our lab to identify air-water contact angles that give insight into the hydrophilicity of a material.


Mechanical Analysis

MTS Mechanical TesterOur mechanical tester uses material samples to identify tensile or compressive properties and limitations of a material. It has the ability to be performed in both dry or temperature controlled aqueous conditions. 

Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer DMA is a technique used to study the viscoelastic behavior of polymers. A sinusoidal stress is applied and the strain in the material is measured, allowing one to determine the complex modulus.