Analytical and Characterization Laboratory

Analytical and Characterization Laboratory

The Analytical and Characterization Laboratory offers a comprehensive collection of state-of-art analytical and characterization instruments to support AMPM Center researchers and students in the development of new membrane and porous materials, from evaluating the fundamental properties of polymers and other precursor materials to the final characteristics of membranes used in gas and water separation applications. AMPM Center staff is available to provide initial training and experimental advice, but students in particular are encouraged to explore and become specialists in one or more of the techniques in order to gain valuable experience and more control over their research projects.

Facilities

  • Physisorption Analyzer Brand: Micromeritics,
    Model: ASAP 2020
    Physisorption Analyzer The physisorption analyzer is a fundamental characterization instrument for calculating the microporous properties of polymers from gas sorption isotherms typically measured with nitrogen at 77K.
  • Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer Brand: TA Instruments,
    Model: DMA Q800
    Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer DMA measures the properties of materials as they are deformed under stress. This technique is used primarily to evaluate the viscoelastic properties such as storage and loss modulus, as well as transition temperatures of polymers.
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry Brand: TA Instruments,
    Model: DSC 2000
    Differential Scanning Calorimetry DSC allows the measurement of thermal transitions in polymer samples (e.g., glass transition temperature).
  • Zetasizer Brand: Malvern,
    Model: Nano ZS
    Zetasizer The Zetasizer measures particle size, electrophoretic mobility and zeta potential of particles covering a wide range of sizes (from 0.3 to 10000 nm) making it an essential analytical instrument for the characterization of all sorts of nanoparticles.
  • FTIR-ATR Brand: Varian,
    Model: 610 TR
    FTIR-ATR FTIR is a powerful technique to profile the chemical structure of materials, which is important during the development of new polymers.
  • Atomic Force Microscope Brand: Bruker,
    Model: Dimension Icon
    Atomic Force Microscope Atomic force microscopy is a powerful high-resolution imaging technique for obtaining nanoscale topographic information of membrane surfaces without requiring any sample preparation or surface modification like in SEM.
  • Scanning Electron Microscope Brand: Zeiss,
    Model: EVO MA10
    Scanning Electron Microscope Understanding the function and performance of any membrane requires visual confirmation of its structural characteristics and the exact dimensions of specific features (e.g., surface coating).
  • UV/Vis/NIR Spectrophotometer Brand: Perkin Elmer,
    Model: Lambda 1050
    UV/Vis/NIR Spectrophotometer This versatile and high-sensitivity spectrophotometer can be used to rapidly monitor organic analytes at low concentrations, which is particularly useful when testing the retention of membranes to different organic compounds in liquid separations.
  • Electrokinetic Analyzer Brand: Anton Paar,
    Model: SurPass
    Electrokinetic Analyzer When in contact with aqueous solutions, pH and ionic strength can influence the properties of many polymers and membrane surfaces. For example, polyamide thin film composite reverse osmosis membranes are negatively charged at pH values above 5.