Partnership creates all-new, nanoscale chemical imaging technique
13 May 2015
A leading innovator in the field of thermal analysis has teamed up with the University of Huddersfield to develop a number of completely new analytical techniques.
From left: Professor Rob Brown, Director of the Materials and Catalysis Research Group, Dr Gareth Parkes of the Department of Chemical Sciences and Professor Mike Reading, founder and research director of the company Cyversa
Professor Mike Reading is founder and research director of the company Cyversa; in this capacity he has developed an algorithm called TASC (Thermal Analysis for Structural Characterisation), which has now been incorporated in a product from the manufacturer of hot stages for optical microscopes, Linkam. The result is an industry-leading system for the characterisation of materials.
Last year, Professor Reading was awarded a part-time research professorship at the University of Huddersfield. University researchers are now working on an extension to the TASC algorithm to create an all-new technique called Chemical Imaging by Dissolution Analysis (CIDA) – a nanoscale method for studying the distribution of components in solid mixtures.
“It will be used, for example, to understand the ways in which the dissolution behaviour of solid pharmaceutical formulations depend on the way these formulations are prepared,” says Professor Rob Brown, director of the Materials and Catalysis Research Group at Huddersfield and one of Professor Reading's collaborators.
Research Fellow Dr Muhammad Usman Ghori is working with Professor Reading on the development of CIDA. He is using the Atomic Force Microscope in the School of Computing and Engineering to image composite materials as they are treated with selective dissolution media.
“The TASC algorithm, as incorporated into the system marketed by Linkam, will be further enhanced as a result of the University of Huddersfield collaboration, but it already has unique capabilities,” says Professor Reading. “It enables the measurement of transition temperatures to be carried out on a very small scale in a precisely-defined place.”
Crucially, the TASC system enables the user to analyse the effects of heat on different parts of composite materials, which normal thermal analysis techniques do not allow.