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3rd SKT 2000
Bad Orb, Germany
Conference, 28th - 31th May 2000

After the rousing success of SKT 2000, it is clear
that there is a bright future ahead for coupled techniques!


As one participant writes...

More than Just the Sum of its Parts -

A brilliant slogan for a remarkable symposium

The German version of this report you can find on the homepage of the
German Society of Thermal Analysis GEFTA
.

Since 1975 the company, NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH, in Selb has been working on the development of simultaneous coupling of Thermal Analysis to Mass Spectrometry. The preliminary highlight of this development is the Skimmer coupling. For some years now, we have been able to also include simultaneous coupling of TA-FTIR as a result of successful cooperation with the company, Bruker Optik GmbH. Both coupling versions are important in enhancing the further development of Thermal Analysis techniques. In Thermal Analysis, we are referring to a field where - together with the modulated techniques for DSC - the most important progress with regard to increased information and interpretation has been achieved during the last few years.

It is clear that, with this cooperation, special emphasis was put not only on perfection of the apparatus, but also on further developing the scientific background of the methods themselves. This is proven by numerous publications resulting from cooperation with renowned universities, among which the papers dealing with quantitative evaluation of TA-MS and TA-FTIR-measurements should perhaps be the most interesting ones.

Thus, it only seems logical that the two companies would be ambitious enough to organize the specialized seminar on the topic of coupling techniques. And this is what they succeeded in, since the Selber Kopplungstage SKT have quickly become known among leaders in the field. This is proven by the fact that the seminar could also be organized in the town of Bad Orb under its original name Selber Kopplungstage (Selb Coupling Days) - in late May 2000 the third SKT 2000 conference took place in the Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Orb. And if one succeeds only in demonstrating that the couplings are actually more than just two individual measuring techniques, then we can say that the meeting was a great success.

Due to the strong international response, it was certainly a good idea to schedule this conference immediately after the ACHEMA, making it easier for visitors to travel to neighboring Bad Orb. The remarkable results were 61 participants from 12 countries (France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, USA).

The program of the conference was comprised of four components:

Survey of the instrument producers, measuring methods and their physical-chemical background, as well as new developments of methods and instrumentation
 
Lectures of users from five countries doing TA-MS and TA-FTIR work in the field of industrial and academic research
 
Practical hands-on work with four (!) complete operational coupling systems, headed by the staff of both organizers
 
One workshop on the requirements and possibilities of future instrument developments from the view of the users and the manufacturers

Actually, we should mention a fifth component which was made good use of: the outstanding catering service of an excellent hotel enabling participants to continue intensive discussions of the day on into the evening.

The topics of the lectures represented a wide application range of thermoanalytical methods, in general, and modern simultaneous coupling techniques, in particular. This is clearly shown with topics like ''Soldering Combustion Processes during Smoking'' (B. Waymack, USA) or ''Characterization of Hydrates and Solvates in the Pharmaceutical Industry'' (E. Marti, Switzerland) or Thermal Conversion of Polymers Based on Silicone'' (D. Bahloul-Hourlier, France), and Investigation of Decomposition Products of Proteins (D. Merz, Germany). Besides this, of course, the classic fields of Thermal Analysis like Inorganic Solid State Chemistry (A. Reller, Germany), Building Material and Ceramic Engineering (D. Brosnan, USA) and Environmental Analytics (A. Kettrup, Germany) were addressed.

Summarizing the responses of the participants to the program as well as the scientific intensity and atmosphere of the discussions and practical work, two things become apparent. First, it is emphasized that one has learned a lot and second one thankfully states that the - legitimate - advertising and promotion of the seminar does not lower the level of the scientific aspect of this event. The opposite is true: the methods themselves are the actual attraction. Congratulations to the organizing team led by Elisabeth Kapsch (NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH) and Albrecht Rager (Bruker Optik GmbH).

The proceedings will be available as of September 2000 and can be obtained directly from the organizers. Anyone already working with modern thermal analysis techniques or whose future tasks in the field of research, application or production control will lead to it, should be sure to get the first circular for the next Selber Kopplungstage!

Michael Feist
Institut für Chemie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Hessische Strasse 1-2
D-10115 Berlin
e-mail: feistm@chemie.hu-berlin.de


 

Snapshots from SKT 2000
 

While it is easy to fit all the speakers into one photo ... 

 

... it's almost impossible to show all the attendees in proper focus.
But we are very happy that the crowd was so well-focused on SKT 2000!

 

Welcome to SKT 2000

 

The highly interested audience

 

A lecture on PulseTA®

 

"Six pack" with Skimmer®

 

Ladies are interested in TA-MS coupling systems


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