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A PhD student at North Carolina State University is using a microbalance head, logging software and accessories, all from CI Electronics, to study interactions between small molecules and solids.

Robert Wilcox has incorporated the PTFE-coated Mk2-M5 microbalance head into experimental apparatus that he designed himself.

Wilcox is also using a Disbal control unit, Labweigh software package, cables and accessories from CI Electronics.

However, he manufactured his own glassware to create the sample enclosure and other elements of the apparatus.

Before building the instrument, Wilcox had used a conventional thermal gravimetric analyser (TGA), but this gave poor control at the low temperatures at which he wanted to operate and restricted performance at low vapour pressures.

Using his own set-up, Wilcox can flow a gas over the solid sample, control the temperature and record the absorption time using CI’s Labweigh software.

This approach has let him study the reaction kinematics and map phase diagrams as part of his research into interactions between small molecules and solids.

The microbalance can measure with microgram accuracy, allowing Wilcox to use tiny sample sizes.

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