Temperature Modulated Nanomechanical Thermal Analysis

Gustavo Marcati A. Alves, Sanjukta Bose-Goswami, Ronaldo D. Mansano, Anja Boisen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    The response of microcantilever deflection to complex heating profiles was used to study thermal events like glass transition and enthalpy relaxation on nanograms of the biopolymer Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA). The use of two heating rates enables the separation of effects on the deflection response that depends on previous thermal history (non-reversing signal) and effects that depends only on the heating rate variation (reversing signal). As these effects may appear superposed in the total response, temperature modulation can increase the measurement sensitivity to some thermal events when signals are isolated. Initially, it was shown how the signal can be processed to extract reversing, total and non-reversing signals and how the temperature modulation affects the cantilever sensitivity to temperature. Then, this technique was used to study how the different aging times affects the non-reversing curve but has no effect on the reversing curve, enabling more precise extraction of glass transition (Tg) in aged samples. With non-reversing data at different aging times, we measured the aging rate by means of average relaxation time (τ) using the Cowie-Ferguson model, obtaining τ= 348 minutes for PLGA aged at 20 °C and at 50 % RH. Tg for PLGA at 50 % RH was measured 37.8 °C using the reversing signal with 0.32 °C of variation between aging times.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalI E E E Sensors Journal
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)4001 - 4007
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Microcantilever sensor
    • Thermal analysis
    • Temperature modulation
    • Glass transition
    • Polymer


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