Testing and Analytical Laboratory
Testing and Analytical Laboratory is mainly used for research by Final Year Project (FYP) Student, Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students & Curtin’s Researchers. It houses several important analytical instruments such as GCMSD, GCFID, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, Thermogravimetric Analysis Instrument (TGA) , Zetasizer Nano ZS and IVIUM. Some equipment used in this lab includes:
1. Zetasizer Nano ZS, ZEN3600, Malvern
The zetasizer nano provides the ability to measure three characteristics of particles or molecules in a liquid medium. These three fundamental parameters are particle size, zeta potential and molecular weight. The samples are stored in a cuvette prior to analysis. The cuvette is then inserted into the zetasizer’s sample compartment and a beam of laser will pass through the samples to analyze it. For the analysis of zeta potential, a special cell called folded capillary cells with thermal contact plates will be used.
2. UV-Vis Spectrophotometer, Lambda 25 UV/Vis Double Beam, Perkin Elmer
The UV-Vis Spectrophotometer analyzes compounds in the ultraviolet (UV) and visible (Vis) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum by looking at its electronic transitions. It allows the researcher to determine the wavelength and maximum absorbance of their compounds. Once absorbance is known, the information can be substituted into the Beer’s Law to determine either the concentration of a sample if the molar extinction coefficient is known or the molar absorptivity, if the concentration is known.
3. Gas Chromatography With Flame Injection Detector (FID), Agilent 6890N, Agilent Technologies
Gas chromatography is able to analyze liquid and gas samples. Liquid samples will be vaporized by high temperature into gaseous form to enable it to be detected by the detectors. In this lab we have two (2) GC detectors namely Flame Injection Detector (FID) and Mass Selective Detector (MSD). The purpose of the gas chromatograph is to separate mixtures into individual components that can be detected and measured one at a time. A plot of the detector output is called a chromatogram, which charts the detector’s response as a function of time, showing the separate components. The separation occurs based on differences in affinities for the two phases.
4. Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA), TGA/DSC1, Mettler Toledo
The TGA instrument is used to conduct thermogravimetric analysis. It is a technique whereby the mass of a substance is monitored as a function of temperature or time and subjected to a controlled temperature programmed by the user. Such analysis relies on a high degree of precision in three measurements: weight, temperature, and temperature change. As many weight loss curves look similar, the weight loss curve may require transformation before results may be interpreted. A derivative weight loss curve generated by the instrument can be used to tell the point at which weight loss is most apparent.
5. Electrochemical Workstation, IVIUM Compactstate 10800, IVIUM Technologies
The Compactstate is a portable instrument which is controlled by the IviumSoft software installed to the user’s laptop or computer. This portable potentiostat/galvanostat with integrated impedance analyser functions to analyze several electrochemical behavior of liquid samples. Among them are linear sweep voltametry, cyclic voltammetry, transient, electroanalysis and impedance.