Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is an analytical technique used to assess enthalpy changes in materials by measuring the heat that is released or absorbed during a thermal scan, typically starting from an ambient or sub-ambient temperature and heating at a controlled rate to an elevated temperature to reveal transitions. These transitions include thermal events such as crystallization, melting, phase changes, and reactions. DSC is able to distinguish between endothermic and exothermic reactions, providing insight into the thermal behavior of samples.
This technique works by thermally ramping a sample and reference material at a controlled rate and measuring the difference in their temperatures. A heatsink is attached to the chamber wall containing a reference material and the sample is placed in a separate pan. Heat is either applied or removed from both materials, producing a thermogram of the sample compared to the reference. This thermogram is then used to quantify enthalpy changes resulting from transitions and reactions within a select temperature range, or for isothermal method, changes occurring over time. Also, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) technique can determine a material’s heat capacity at a given temperature, which is necessary for heat-transfer calculation and thermal FEA simulation modeling.