TAPAF Facility At The Texas Center For Superconductivity

TAPAF: Thermal and Porosity Analysis Facility

Narrative, Goals, and Objectives

We have established a new core facility at UH, named TAPAF: Thermal and Porosity Analysis Facility. This facility operates as an approved recharge recovery operation jointly by TcSUH and the Department of Chemistry. TAPAF will bring together instrumentation and technical expertise in four areas of advanced materials characterization: (a) thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA), (b) differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), (c) measurement of gas sorption and porosity, and (d) dilatometry.

  • Two TA Instruments for Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA); Models 2050 and 2950 for operation up to 1000 °C, belonging to Jacobson;
  • A new Netzsch STA 449 F3 Jupiter Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer (TG-DSC/DTA Apparatus) Temperature range: according to selected furnace RT to 2400°C, for Cp determination up to 1500°C with Tungsten & SiC Furnaces, Thermokinetics, QMS mass spec, and GC-ICP-MS. This instrument was purchased with a $500K grant from DoD to J. Meen;
  • A Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC); DSC-1, Star System, Mettler Toledo Inc. for operation between −150°C and 700 °C belonging to the Department of Chemistry;
  • A Surface Area Analyzer for surface area and pore volume determination; Gemini III 2375, Micromeritics belonging to the Department of Chemistry;
  • An Anton-Paar Poremaster mercury porisimeter purchased recently with a UH small-equipment grant to Jacobson.
  • A Dilatometer (DIL) for expansion measurements as a function of temperature up to 1550°C in a specified atmosphere; DIL 402C, Netzsch, belonging to Jacobson.
Organization, Governance, and Staffing

Reporting: The TAPAF facility reports to TcSUH and the Department of Chemistry. The facility is housed in Jacobson’s laboratory space assigned to him by Chemistry.

Management: The facility will be jointly managed by its Director (Jacobson), Associate Director (Meen), and a Technical Coordinator (Makarenko).

Relationship with Industry and Other Institutions: The equipment will be available to users from industry either on the basis of a cooperative research agreement or through purchase orders. Separate rates will be established for outside non-academic users; outside academic users will pay standard internal rates plus overhead.

User Fee Structure

User fees are needed to recoup some of the costs of regular maintenance of TAPAF’s instruments and to go towards supporting a service contract for the Netzsch simultaneous DSC/DTA/TGA thermal analyzer. For the first year, service will be covered by the instrument warranty. We anticipate that annual costs for consumables and replacement of minor spare parts (to be done in-house) will be less than $5,000. Fees are kept low for UH users to encourage broad access.

The current user fee structure is given below., Fees were established based on experience with the TcSUH Materials Characterization Facility and the UH Department of Chemistry central facilities for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), X-ray diffraction, and surface analysis.

User fee structure

Thermogravimetric Analysis |

$35/sample flat fee

DSC/DTA/TGA new system |

$60 /sample flat fee*

Dilatometry |

$35/sample flat fee

Differential Scanning Calorimetry |

$25/sample flat fee

Porosity Measurements, Low Pressure |

$40/sample flat fee

Mercury Porosimetry |

$45/ sample flat fee

*For routine analysis – the rates for extensive chemical analysis have yet to be established.

Academic institutions other than UH will be provided access at the same rate as UH users plus overhead. Industrial and other non-academic institutions will also be able to submit samples to TAPAF, at user rates that will be individually negotiated, but at least 100% higher than those for UH users.

TAPAF core facility is located in the SR-1 Building, rooms 26, 30, and 32. Users will gain access to the facility and its instrumentation by contacting Dr. Makarenko. Depending on the specific problem, they will either leave samples with her or be trained in sample preparation and analysis. Some of the purchased equipment is quite sensitive to miniscule changes in operating conditions, and we do not anticipate that all general users will use the equipment themselves. Access to the facility will be available during regular business hours, five days per week. There will be no off-hours access to the facility.