Polymer Characterization

Mechanical Properties

Instron 5567 Materials Testing System

Traditional tension and compression mechanical tests can be performed with a fully-computerized Instron Mechanical Testing System.  Capabilities include:


bullet30 kN (6750 lbf) capacity
bullet1600 C split-tube furnace attachment
bullettension-compression-flexural capabilities




The Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering maintains two identical state-of-the art Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs).  The PicoSPM AFM unit is equipped for contact mode, tapping mode (both Acoustic and Magnetic AC modes) and pulsed force mode imaging.  Samples can be imaged in air, under a controlled atmosphere (using an environmental chamber), in liquid and also at a controlled temperature(-30 to 170C). There are also two top-down scanners which allow scanning a maximum area of 6 x 6 microns and 30 x 30 microns. 


Electron microscopy is available through the Coordinated Instrumentation Facility (CIF).  The JEOL 2010 Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) has the following features:

bullet200 kV maximum accelerating voltage.
bulletLab 6 filament.
bulletPossible 0.5 nm resolution in scan mode.
bulletEnergy-Dispersive X-ray System (EDS) for elemental mapping.

The JEOL JSM-820 has:

bulletHigh resolution digital imaging
bullet6" diameter specimens
bulletBackscatter detector

Thermal Analysis

TA Instruments SDT 2960 Differential Thermal Analyzer/Thermogravimetric Analyzer


bulletSimultaneous DTA/TGA
bulletRoom temperature to 1500 C temperature range
bullet0.1 microgram scale sensitivity


TA Instruments TGA 2950 Thermogravimetric Analyzer/Pfeiffer Thermostar Mass Spectrometer

This unique combination of equipment allows the simultaneous determination of sample weight loss as a function of temperature, and analysis of the sample off-gas to determine the molecular weight of the evolved species up to 300 amu.

TA Instruments DSC2920 Differential Scanning Calorimeter


bullet-180 to 725 C temperature range
bulletModulated DSC capabilities
bulletRoom temperature to 1600 C DTA cell


TA Instruments TMA2940 Thermomechanical Analyzer


bullet-150 to 1000 C temperature range
bullet100 nm sensitivity
bullet0.001 to 1.0 N loading
bullet2.5 mm displacement range
bulletfilm/fiber accessories


TA Instruments DMA 2980 Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer



TA Instruments AR 2000 Rheometer

Light Scattering

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