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2: Physical and Thermal Analysis

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    • 2.1: Melting Point Analysis
      Melting point (Mp) is a quick and easy analysis that may be used to qualitatively identify relatively pure samples (approximately <10% impurities). It is also possible to use this analysis to quantitatively determine purity. Melting point analysis, as the name suggests, characterizes the melting point, a stable physical property, of a sample in a straightforward manner, which can then be used to identify the sample.
    • 2.2: Molecular Weight Determination
      The cryoscopic method was formally introduced in the 1880’s when François-Marie Raoult published how solutes depressed the freezing points of various solvents such as benzene, water, and formic acid. He concluded from his experimentation “if one molecule of a substance can be dissolved in one-hundred molecules of any given solvent then the solvent temperature is lowered by a specific temperature increment”. Based on Raoult’s research, Ernst Otto Beckmann invented the Beckmann thermometer and the
    • 2.3: BET Surface Area Analysis of Nanoparticles
      In the past few years, nanotechnology research has expanded out of the chemistry department and into the fields of medicine, energy, aerospace and even computing and information technology. With bulk materials, the surface area to volume is insignificant in relation to the number of atoms in the bulk, however when the particles are only 1 to 100 nm across, different properties begin to arise.
    • 2.4: Dynamic Light Scattering
      Dynamic light scattering (DLS), which is also known as photon correlation spectroscopy (PCS) or quasi-elastic light scattering (QLS), is a spectroscopy method used in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, and physics to determine the size distribution of particles (polymers, proteins, colloids, etc.) in solution or suspension.
    • 2.5: Zeta Potential Analysis
      Zeta potential is a parameter that measures the electrochemical equilibrium at the particle-liquid interface. It measures the magnitude of electrostatic repulsion/attraction between particles and thus, it has become one of the fundamental parameters known to affect stability of colloidal particles.
    • 2.6: Viscosity
      All liquids have a natural internal resistance to flow termed viscosity. Viscosity is the result of frictional interactions within a given liquid and is commonly expressed in two different ways.
    • 2.7: Electrochemistry
      Cyclic voltammetry is a very important analytical characterization in the field of electrochemistry. Any process that includes electron transfer can be investigated with this characterization.  In this module, we will focus on the application of CV measurement in the field of characterization of solar cell materials.
    • 2.8: Thermal Analysis
      Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and the associated differential thermal analysis (DTA) are widely used for the characterization of both as-synthesized and side-wall functionalized single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs). Under oxygen, SWNTs will pyrolyze leaving any inorganic residue behind. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is a technique used to measure the difference in the heat flow rate of a sample and a reference over a controlled temperature range.
    • 2.9: Electrical Permittivity Characterization of Aqueous Solutions
      Permittivity (in the framework of electromagnetics) is a fundamental material property that describes how a material will affect, and be affected by, a time-varying electromagnetic field. The parameters of permittivity are often treated as a complex function of the applied electromagnetic field as complex numbers allow for the expression of magnitude and phase.
    • 2.10: Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
      Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), also known as forced oscillatory measurements and dynamic rheology, is a basic tool used to measure the viscoelastic properties of materials (particularly polymers). To do so, DMA instrument applies an oscillating force to a material and measures its response; from such experiments, the viscosity (the tendency to flow) and stiffness of the sample can be calculated. These viscoelastic properties can be related to temperature, time, or frequency.
    • 2.11: Finding a Representative Lithology
      Sample sediments are typically sent in a large plastic bag inside a brown paper bag labeled with the company or organization name, drill site name and number, and the depth the sediment was taken (in meters).

    This page titled 2: Physical and Thermal Analysis is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Pavan M. V. Raja & Andrew R. Barron (OpenStax CNX) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.