In addition to fundamental and strategic basic research, imo-imomec also offers scientific services in collaboration with the industry. For these scientific services imo-imomec focusses on four pillars:analytical chemistry, analytical microscopy, device physics & engineering, and packaging technology.
The Analytical & Circular Chemistry (ACC) expert group, formerly Applied and ANalytical Chemistry (TANC), belongs to the Material Chemistry research group (MATCHEM) and has built up expertise in the field of chemical analysis for more than 40 years. ACC plays a prominent role for the researchers within imo-imomec in the materials engineering and chemical characterisation of new material systems. In addition, ACC carries out applied and contract research on a daily basis in cooperation with industry.
Typical activities include the development and application of appropriate analytical strategies for quality control, reverse engineering, product development and valorisation of waste/by-product streams. Discovering the underlying chemical structure-property relationships plays a central role in this. Within ACC, you can count on the deployment of a wide range of complementary and combined analysis techniques based on thermal analysis, rheology, chromatography and various forms of spectroscopy. The work is always carried out by a fixed team of experienced researchers and expert laboratory technicians.
In addition to the fields listed in the left menu, the group has also developed strong expertise in circular and green processes, including the monitoring of pyrolysis, adsorption and extractive and leaching processes.
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To ensure the stability of materials after exposure to changing conditions, thermal, mechanical or colloidal stability monitoring can be offered. Thermal stability includes all measurements designed to monitor the response of a material under changing temperature conditions. This concerns the measurement of weight loss by evaporation or outgassing of volatile components, the monitoring of phase transitions and the analysis of decomposition processes.
Imo-imomec has various devices at its disposal that monitor the heat management, the weight and the released gases in function of a meticulously controlled temperature. The tests offered can be performed under different environmental conditions (e.g. under inert atmosphere) to determine different degradation modes. In addition, mechanical properties such as the visco-elastic behaviour can also be monitored. Finally, know-how and equipment is also available to assess the stability of dispersions based on particle size distributions and surface charge.
Imo-imomec has significant expertise in studying degradation phenomena and their effect on the structure and properties of materials. This enables us to perform subsequent analyses for a wide range of application domains:
A wide range of materials can undergo stability analysis. The requirements of specimens depend on the type of stability investigation and the analytical techniques.
Typical examples of preparations for colloidal stability studies are:
Typical examples of preparations for thermogravimetric analyses are:
Typical examples of specimens for mechanical stability testing are:
Within the stability study, imo-imomec can call on various specialised tools to solve the problem. An overview is given below.
Surfaces, films and coatings can be visualised to explain their uniformity, morphology, optical transparency, reflection and adhesive properties. Contaminations and imperfections in all kinds of functional layers can also be studied.
2D scanning techniques can be offered including infrared mapping and coupling of optical microscopy with infrared spectroscopy. This allows local differences in molecular composition (micrometer scale) to be revealed. Moreover, infrastructure is available to apply in-house coatings at lab scale.
Imo-imomec has significant expertise in analysing coatings. This enables us to carry out subsequent analyses for a wide range of application areas:
Within the coating research, micrometer scale coatings can be investigated. Typical examples of samples for this coating research are:
Within the coating research, imo-imomec can make use of several specialised tools to solve the problem.
Materials can be identified using a wide range of analytical techniques. Both elemental and molecular composition of complex mixtures are evaluated in a qualitative and quantitative way (up to ppb level).
Over the years, imo-imomec has built up a strong expertise in the determination of metal (ions) in all kinds of materials. This is usually done in combination with specially designed digestion methods using microwaves, strong acids and fluxes. Furthermore, a top expertise in NMR spectroscopy ensures that the composition of almost every organic material can be deciphered.
Imo-imomec has an important core expertise in identifying chemical compounds. This enables us to perform the following analyses for a wide range of application areas:
Understanding molecular or elemental composition is an important piece of the puzzle in answering many research questions. Typical examples of chemical composition preparations are:
For chemical compositions, imo-imomec can rely on several specialised tools to solve the problem. An overview is given below.
The analysis of trace amounts of harmful components by undesired leaching, volatilisation or decomposition is often central to studies focusing on achieving environmental standards or estimating long-term effects of products in a consumer environment.
Imo-imomec has an extensive range of equipment to investigate the presence and possible release of both highly regulated inorganic components (for example: heavy metals or metallic nanoparticles) and organic components (for example: PCBs, PAHs, VOCs and perfluorinated compounds). Both screenings and target analyses can be carried out in which quantification in very complex environments is not a problem.
Imo-imomec has significant expertise in the analysis of present and released (an)organic components. This enables us to perform subsequent analyses for a wide range of application areas:
Chemical environmental analyses can be carried out on samples collected directly from the environment or on derivatives of materials that may contain harmful components. Typical examples of samples for this investigation are:
For environmental analyses, imo-imomec can rely on several specialised tools to solve the problem.
Imo-imomec is very well equipped to characterise all classes of polymers and plastics. Identification of polymers, composition and regio-regularity of co-polymers, the study of curing, processability and bio-degradation can be followed up with a wide range of spectroscopic and thermal techniques.
In addition, fillers and additives such as plasticisers, antioxidants, process enhancers and light stabilisers can also be determined unambiguously. Furthermore, it is also possible to examine more complex structures (e.g. multi-layer films and composites). Infrastructure is also available to perform extrusions on a lab scale.
Imo-imomec has significant expertise in the characterisation of polymers. This enables us to perform subsequent analyses for a wide range of application areas:
Chemical polymer characterisation can be carried out on all kinds of plastic consumer goods, with the objective of deciphering the structure-property relationships. Typical examples of preparations for polymer characterisation are:
For polymer characterisations, imo-imomec can rely on several specialised tools to solve the problem. Below an overview.