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Thermodynamic Characterization of Nanoscale Materials

A.L. Smith
Masscal Corporation, US

Keywords:
quartz crystal microbalance, thin film calorimetry, enthalpy of SAM formation, sorption isotherm, sorption enthalpy

Abstract:
“The largest barrier to rational design and controlled synthesis of nanomaterials with predefined properties is the lack of fundamental understanding of thermodynamic and kinetic processes at the nanoscale. …Bulk material properties are not size-dependent, but the properties of nanometerials are a function of size. The underlying principles governing the properties at all lengths, organization complexity, and structural and property stability over time must be understood to enable the nanoscale materials by design approach.”1
 
Quartz crystal microbalance/heat conduction calorimetry2 is a new measurement technology that permits high sensitivity measurements in real time of three properties of a nanoscale coating or film undergoing chemical reaction: the mass change (to ±10 nanograms), the heat generated (to ±1 microwatt), and the change in viscoelastic stiffness. These sensitivities are sufficient to examine the energetics of the formation of a self-assembled monolayer as well as the thermodynamics of the chemical processes in nanoscale polymer coatings. In this talk we present the principles of this measurement technology, as embodied in the Masscal G1, and we give a number of applications of the methodology that illustrate its potential to be a key instrumental way to measure thermodynamic and kinetic processes at the nanoscale.
 
1. “Chemical Industry R&D Roadmap for Nanomaterials by Design: From Fundamentals to Function”, Chemical Industry Vision 2020 Technology Partnership, December 2003, page 25. See www.ChemicalVision202.org
2. Allan L. Smith and Hamid. M. Shirazi, Thermochimica Acta 432, 202-211, 2005

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