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The University of Southampton
The Southampton Diffraction Centre

Thermal analysis

Thermal analysis of a material is concerned with the monitoring of property changes as a function of temperature. These techniques enable us to probe such phenomena as polymorphism, phase transitions, stability and formulation in pharmaceutical and other material. The properties we can measure are defined by the apparatus in the facility.

The Differential Scanning Calorimeter measures the amount of heat that is required to increase the temperature of a sample against a reference sample. The results are visualised in a heat flux versus temperature or versus time curve. Properties that can be monitored in this way include fusion, crystallisation, glass transition and chemical reactions.

The Hot-stage Microscope uses a polarising microscope with a temperature controlled stage compartment to allow visual observation of melting, crystallisation and phase transition events. Computer control enables the digital recording of these events.

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