Principle : The scanning calorimetry differential (DSC english abbreviation of differential scanning calorimetry) is a technique used to study the thermal behavior of a material.
It allows you to determine phase transitions such as:
- glass transition temperature ( tg in english for the glass transition);
- the temperature of melting and crystallization;
- enthalpy of reaction.
The principle is simple, the device contains 2 crucibles, one as a reference and the other contains the sample to be analyzed. these 2 crucibles in an oven that is heated up to the chosen temperature, usually 10°c/minute. these crucibles are connected to a thermocouple which reads the temperature and transmits it to a computer. as that one heats up, the temperature of the crucible containing the sample and the crucible of reference will be different. the computer will convert those 2 temperatures in heat flow.
thus, what we measure in the DSC is the amount of additional heat to provide the crucible of reference, to reach the same crucible containing the sample. this analysis is done under an inert atmosphere to avoid reaction of the sample with the oxygen in the air.