Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC) was the analytical tool of choice for surface characterizations of hair (and hair treatment), pigments (compatibility) and silica (for tyres). These were some of the interesting insights of the IGC Symposium, April 10th in Frankfurt organized by Adscientis and Inolytix, http://inverse-chromatography.com/.
Dr. von Vacano, BASF, showcased physical characterization studies of native, bleached and treated hair using AFM, XPS, ZP (surface charge) and IGC. The dispersive surface energy measured by IGC is the best indicator for surface damage with low statistical errors and the best quantification. Even the promotion of a new product uses the evidence by IGC. The combination of all methods provided a thorough understanding of hair damages and conditioning.
Measurements of pigment surfaces
Dr. Gebhardt, DSM Coating Resins, presented measurements of pigment surfaces by IGC and some surprising findings in term of acid/base character, nano-roughness and specific chemical interactions. The question behind this study was the compatibility to the resin matrix, the coating formulation and treatment of the pigments. The results, like basic properties and high affinities to nitrile, amide and carbamate groups, can be used to optimise pigment-coating systems. Pigment suppliers were encouraged to share information about surface treatment and potentially collaborate.
The next generation of energy saving tyres
Dr. L. Guy, Solvay, explained the challenges to develop next generation of energy saving tyres and the interactions between silica surface, carbon black and the polymer nature. The use of IGC is key to understand these interactions. Useful are the different techniques as IGC-ID (infinite dilution) to measure dispersive surface energy and IGC-FC (finite concentration) to measure the surface heterogeneity and e.g. BET with alkenes instead of N2.
Highly qualified experts delivering additional applications
Additional background information and further applications of IGC was provided by professors of different universities. The introduction was presented by Dr. H. Balard, who started using IGC in the year 1978 and published 52 articles on IGC.
Altogether, this was an inspiring symposium with highly qualified experts. There is no fancy new equipment behind IGC (which may explain the lack of broader interest…), but simply a really valuable methodology and expertise. Personally, I am certain that more and more R&D departments will take advantage of it – sooner or later.