Spectroscopy and Microscopy
The spectroscopy and microscopy group provides quantitative analysis of product formulations, identification of unknown materials, compositional analysis of polymers and resins, and failure analysis of coatings and composite materials.
Energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy
Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is capable of surveying small samples or particles for elements from boron through uranium. Line profiles compare element concentration versus depth. Elemental mapping can be conducted to document the distribution of elements across a sample surface.
Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy
Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy is a commonly used problem-solving tool. The infrared analysis provides general information about a sample’s chemical composition. The infrared spectrum can be used to confirm the identity of a material or provide generic information regarding an unknown material’s chemical family.
Mass spectrometry provides essential chemical information for resolving many complex industrial problems. Various ionization techniques and interface capabilities for HPLC and GPC separations enable effective analyses for a wide range of materials.
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is an analytical tool that provides detailed information about the molecular structure of a material. NMR is most commonly used to analyze organic materials such as solvents, soluble polymers, surfactants and reaction intermediates. A variety of different NMR experiments help determine chemical information.
Optical light microscopy
Optical light microscopy is used to examine and document sample appearance and features.
Scanning electron microscopy
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) offers high magnification and resolution for examination of sample surfaces and cross sections. Imaging modes provide information about sample morphology and texture or information regarding variability in sample composition and density.
X-ray diffraction is useful for the identification of crystalline compounds. This nondestructive technique provides semi-quantitative data on mixtures and searching against libraries permits positive identification of unknowns.
Wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence can qualitatively and quantitatively determine the presence of elements from carbon through uranium. Both solids and liquids can readily be assayed for composition or contamination.