Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a thermoanalytical instrument in which the difference for heat required to increase temperatures of a sample and a reference is measured as a function of temperature, which is usually programmed to change linearly as a function of time.  It is frequently used to measure the latent heat of Phase Change Materials (PCM). In operation, an empty pair of aluminum or copper pan and lid is usually used as the reference and the sample is placed in another pair of pan and lid with the same material and weight as the reference, so that the heat flow to the reference is cancelled in software, and information of heat flow to the sample is collected.  The result of a DSC experiment is a curve of heat flux versus temperature or time, and the integration of phase transition peak area on the curve indicates the latent heat of the sample.

Differential Scanning Calorimetry

Figure 1. the DSC

The DSC-600 Differential Scanning Calorimeter is a powerful instrument that measures the heat absorbed or released as a function of time or a controlled temperature profile.  Data collected with DSC-600 is analyzed with Infinity Pro thermal analysis software.


  • Temperature range: -40 ˚C to 650 ˚C
  • Temperature precision: 0.1 ˚C
  • Programmable heating rate: 0.1 – 200 ˚C/min
  • Stability: <1 mW ambient to 550 ˚C
  • Sensibility: 0.5 μW


  • Latent heat of fusion
  • Melting point
  • Degree of subcooling
  • Purity of phase change materials
  • Glass transition temperature
  • Degree of cure
  • Thermal stability
Differential Scanning Calorimetry system

Figure 2. the whole DSC system with DSC, chiller, and computer

DSC Sample Cell

Figure 3. DSC Sample Cell









DSC Melting Curve

Figure 4. The DSC curve of the melting process of a tin sample. The curve shows a measured latent heat of 59.56 J/g for this sample, with the melting point at 232.40 ˚C (the onset point of the peak).

DSC curve

Figure 5. The DSC curve of the melting and freezing processes of a n-hexadecane sample.

DSC Curve

Figure 6. The DSC curve of the melting process of a customized sample. The curve shows a measured latent heat of 129.98 J/g for this sample, with the melting process started at the 14.85 minute (the onset point of the peak).

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