Insights from industry

New Generation of Thermal Analysis Instrumentation

insights from industryDr. Robert Packer

PerkinElmer is known for its innovative solutions in the scientific industry. This interview discusses the latest advancements in thermal analysis instrumentation and PerkinElmer's inorganic range, including the DSC 9, TGA 9, STA 9, and NEXION 1100.

In this interview, Dr. Robert Packer at PerkinElmer talks to AzoMaterials about the new generation of thermal analysis instrumentation. 

Could you please start by introducing yourself and tell us whats new with PerkinElmer? 

My name is Dr. Robert Packer. I live in Connecticut, US, but I am not originally from there but from London. I completed my PhD in Material Science at Imperial College and joined PerkinElmer 15 and a half years ago.

PerkinElmer is launching a series of brand-new products. DSC 9, TGA 9, and STA 9 are in our thermal range, while the NEXION 1100 is in our inorganic range.

How does this new generation of thermal analysis instrumentation help improve the customer experience?

Our thermal range customers are typically polymer customers working in QA/QC or R&D. They face certain challenges, such as looking at glass transition temperatures or water or other solvent loss in the TGA.

The TGA and STA now have a higher temperature range, so you can see if your material loses weight at temperatures above 1,000 degrees. In addition, our DSC can reach temperatures above 600 degrees for certain glass transitions or other events.

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Have any technical specifications been improved since the previous measurements?

As I mentioned earlier, the temperature range has increased. There are also improvements in the DSC stability or the baseline stability, as well as the precision and accuracy of the balance and temperature for the TGA and STA. It is a significant improvement, but we have improved more than just the specifications.

Can you talk about the furnace design and how it is better than the previous one?

For the DSC, we have changed the furnace design to allow for higher temperatures. We now use stainless steel instead of aluminum, as we did previously. As I previously stated, it allows us to go up to 750 °C for some of the higher temperature transitions people are considering.

What is unique about the design of these instruments, and how does this design benefit the customers?

I am very excited about these new products and some of their unique features, which include two major ones. The first feature is the interchangeability of the balance stem and furnaces. So, if a customer purchases a TGA, they can upgrade to an SDA at any time, as well as a DSC to an SDA.

They can also add an autosampler whenever they want. If they want to carry out hyphenation, we have a hyphenation design that allows you to use an autosampler to run 45 samples of a hyphenated experiment overnight.

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You have discussed the TGA, DSC, and SDA. How do these products interact, and are they part of a workflow?

Yes. If you go to a polymer lab, you will typically see a TGA doing residual solvent removal and weight loss and a DSC analyzing crystallinity for glass transitions. Some smaller labs may want to combine these and include an SDA. It would be best to have a suite of instruments to analyze polymers. These are also used in pharmaceutical labs to perform similar measurements, such as solvent loss in TGA or crystallinity in DSE.

How does the hyphenation solution work? Is this unique to PerkinElmer?

Yes. We are the only vendor that sells the infrared, thermal, and GC/MS together. You will see companies that may collaborate and combine their solutions. We are the only ones who integrate the entire system. Our system also includes integrated single software for the TGA, making it much easier to analyze samples without switching between different software. This is genuinely unique to PerkinElmer.

About Dr. Robert Packer

Dr Robert Packer is the portfolio director of the molecular spectroscopy division at PerkinElmer and has worked for the company for over 15 years. Following an undergraduate degree in chemistry he then went to Imperial College in London to pursue a PhD in materials science, specializing in analytical techniques. On completion of his PhD he joined PerkinElmer as an application scientist in its thermal analysis division before moving into product management. He later became the segment strategy leader for the food and pharma testing markets across all PerkinElmer product lines before moving into his current director role. He is based in Connecticut, USA and has also lived in London, UK and Perth, Australia.

This information has been sourced, reviewed, and adapted from materials provided by PerkinElmer.

For more information on this source, please visit PerkinElmer.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.


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