The combination of thermogravimetry (TGA) and infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) is a time-tested combination of analytical techniques used very often, e.g. in polymer research. TGA is a method of thermal analysis that is used to monitor the mass changes of a sample as a function of increasing temperature. FT-IR is a molecular spectroscopy method primarily used to identify and quantify released gases. Infrared gas spectroscopy is an irreplaceable method for the rapid identification of gases produced by drying and subsequent combustion of samples (most often polymer materials) by the TGA method, however, it cannot detect rare or diatomic gases (nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen).
The combination of thermogravimetry (TGA) and mass spectroscopy (MS), on the other hand, offers higher sensitivity (limit of detection) and can identify trace amounts of contaminants released by many types of materials (including pharmaceuticals); more info.
Both of these combinations of analytical techniques are very well established in practice and often used. Of course, each of them has its limitations, but it is possible to perform simultaneous measurements using a combination of all three techniques, TGA/MS/FTIR, or TGA/GC-MS/FTIR offers a flexible solution for many types of problematic samples. The high sensitivity of MS is useful where very little sample is available or where small amounts of a specific chemical are released. Conversely, FT-IR enables a more detailed identification analysis (e.g. the presence of side groups in polymer chains) and quantification of the majority components of the gas mixture, such as water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, hydrocarbons, etc.
This combined system can be used in all areas of basic research
and industrial applications, especially for the characterization of materials for energy storage, analysis of polymers, additives, biomass, modern rubber, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, oil, food, etc. Furthermore, for example, for the identification of harmful chemicals in the soil, pesticides or the determination of leachable substances that can contaminate product packaging and the identification of phthalates in PVC samples.
All Nicolet CZ FT-IR spectrometers can be combined with various TGA/DSC and GC/MS manufacturers thanks to a flexible TGA attachment with a heated hose of variable length. Of course, TGA attachments from other companies are also an option. Feel free to contact us for more information.