University of Limerick
Armstrong_2017_Hyphenated.pdf (2.65 MB)

Hyphenated analytical techniques for materials characterisation

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-10-11, 14:08 authored by GORDON ARMSTRONGGORDON ARMSTRONG, Lekshmi Kailas
This topical review will provide a survey of the current state of the art in 'hyphenated' techniques for characterisation of bulk materials, surface, and interfaces, whereby two or more analytical methods investigating different properties are applied simultaneously to the same sample to better characterise the sample than can be achieved by conducting separate analyses in series using different instruments. It is intended for final year undergraduates and recent graduates, who may have some background knowledge of standard analytical techniques, but are not familiar with 'hyphenated' techniques or hybrid instrumentation. The review will begin by defining 'complementary', 'hybrid' and 'hyphenated' techniques, as there is not a broad consensus among analytical scientists as to what each term means. The motivating factors driving increased development of hyphenated analytical methods will also be discussed. This introduction will conclude with a brief discussion of gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and energy dispersive x-ray analysis in electron microscopy as two examples, in the context that combining complementary techniques for chemical analysis were among the earliest examples of hyphenated characterisation methods. The emphasis of the main review will be on techniques which are sufficiently well-established that the instrumentation is commercially available, to examine physical properties including physical, mechanical, electrical and thermal, in addition to variations in composition, rather than methods solely to identify and quantify chemical species. Therefore, the proposed topical review will address three broad categories of techniques that the reader may expect to encounter in a well-equipped materials characterisation laboratory: microscopy based techniques, scanning probe-based techniques, and thermal analysis based techniques. Examples drawn from recent literature, and a concluding case study, will be used to explain the practical issues that arise in combining different techniques. We will consider how the complementary and varied information obtained by combining these techniques may be interpreted together to better understand the sample in greater detail than that was possible before, and also how combining different techniques can simplify sample preparation and ensure reliable comparisons are made between multiple analyses on the same samples—a topic of particular importance as nanoscale technologies become more prevalent in applied and industrial research and development (R&D). The review will conclude with a brief outline of the emerging state of the art in the research laboratory, and a suggested approach to using hyphenated techniques, whether in the teaching, quality control or R&D laboratory


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Other Funding information

Irish Government’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions Cycle 5, ERC



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