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A convenient alternative to using liquid argon or expensive cryostats for IUPAC- recommended gas sorption analyses

The cryoTune is a compact and cost effective cryostatic accessory designed to provide precise temperature control (±0.004 K) at temperatures in the range 83 – 125 K. The cryoTune is ideally suited to enable 3P micro 300 and other physisorption analyzers to generate fast and IUPAC-recommended micropore analyses using argon (Ar) gas at 87 K and liquid nitrogen as the cryogen.


With this compact and deceptively simple accessory, modern gas sorption analyzers can be used to generate isotherms:

  • at an essentially constant temperature (± 0.004 K);
  • within a wide target temperature range (83 – 125 K); and
  • easy-to-use software for data acquisition, display, analysis and archiving.

It is now well established (see the latest IUPAC recommendations in Pure. Appl. Chem. 87 (2015) 1051)) that argon molecules provide distinct advantages over nitrogen molecules for gas sorption analyses, including the following:

  • unlike nitrogen, argon has no quadrupole moment. Thus, using argon as adsorbate eliminates specific chemical interactions with polar/ionic surface sites
  • as a result, argon physisorption isotherms provide much more reliable fingerprints of the interactions modeled by today’s most advanced techniques for pore size characterization; and
  • Argon sorption analyses at its boiling point (87 K) can be significantly faster than conventional N2/77 K experiments, because the filling of similar pores can occur much more readily at much higher relative pressures

There has been a long-felt need in the art for the means to enable Ar @87 K experiments without having to resort to using compressor-based cryostats (which can be very expensive) or liquid argon cryogen (which can also be relatively expensive or even unavailable in some regions). The cryoTune fills this need by providing a compact accessory which is easily adaptable to modern gas sorption analyzers. With the cryoTune users can easily perform IUPAC-recommended argon sorption analyses at 87.3K using liquid nitrogen (instead of liquid argon) as the cryogen.

Literature and Norms

/1/ IUPAC-Empfehlung: M. Thommes, K. Kaneko, A.V. Neimark, J.P. Olivier, F. Rodriguez Reinoso, J. Rouquerol and K.S.W Sing, Pure Appl. Chem. 87 (9-10), 1051-1069 (2015); pdf-Download

/2/ D. Klank, PARTICLE WORLD 19, “Why do we measure surfaces and pores with argon and krypton gas adsorption much more often in future?” p. 26 – 29

/3/ ISO 9277:2010: Determination of the specific surface area of solids by gas adsorption – BET method

/4/ Fröba et al., Partikelwelt 17, “Die Charakterisierung von porösen Hybrid- und Funktionsmaterialien im Rahmen der „Energieproblematik”” p. 17 ff. [available only in German]

/5/ D. Klank, C. Reichenbach, Chem. Ing. Tech., 201991 (7), 934 – 935, [available only in German]

/6/ D. Klank, C. Reichenbach, C. Lüttmann, Laborpraxis, August 2019, 30 – 32, [available only in German]

Suitable Gas Adsorption Analyzers:

3P meso 112 1 Station Analyzer
3P meso 222 2 Station Analyzer
3P meso 400 4 Station Analyzer
3P micro 100 1 Station Analyzer
3P micro 200 2 Station Analyzer
3P micro 300 3 Station Analyzer


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