09 June 2014 | 16:57
By Jan Gorgol
Moisture affects a huge range of diverse materials in very broad industries and research areas.
One of the many tools used in characterising the effects of moisture is Microscopy , ranging from common microscopes such as light microscopies using dark-field, light field or cross-polarisation to Raman, FTIR microscopy’s and more esoteric imaging techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy , 3D X-Ray Tomography or even PAM (photo acoustic microscopy).
Just a few of the diverse areas and industries where different kinds of microscopy can be effectively used to study the effects of moisture and humidity on real life situations include:
- Studies of crystallisation of amorphous samples under humidification including hydration of stable and unstable hydrates, deliquescence and liquefaction of hygroscopic samples, co-crystallisation and solvate desorption at high humilities.
- Polarized light microscopy and birefringence can be used effectively to study Crystal morphological growth. Polymorphism can be studied by Raman, FTIR, and light microscopy.