Professor, Analytical and Physical Chemistry of Materials


Sergey Vyazovkin, Analytical and Physical Chemistry of Materials

Sergey Vyazovkin received his BS (1982) and PhD (1989) from the Byelorussian State University. He then joined the Institute for Physical Chemistry (Minsk) where he worked until 1993. Since 1993 he had held visiting positions at the Technical University of Vienna (1993-1995) and University of Toledo (1995). Before joining the University of Alabama at Birmingham, he worked in the University of Utah (1995-2001) as a research faculty and the deputy director of the Center for Thermal Analysis.


Tel.: (205) 975-9410

Activities and honors.

Editor: Thermochimica Acta; Editorial Board: Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry (2003 - 2006), Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, Macromolecular Rapid Communications; 2003, 2007 Invited Professorship, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis; 2004 Mettler-Toledo Award for “Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Thermal Analysis”; 2006 James J. Christensen Award for “Outstanding Contributions to the Innovative Development and Use of Calorimetric Equipment”; 2006 Elected Fellow of the North American Thermal Analysis Society. Chair: Kinetics Committee of the International Confederation for Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry.

Research interests.

Our research interests are concerned with thermophysical properties and reactions of polymeric, pharmaceutical and energetic materials. We study these materials by using a variety of analytical techniques including Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy, Mass Spectrometry (MS), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Thermomechanical Analysis (TMA), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM), etc. Kinetic analysis of thermal data plays the key role in our work. We develop and apply our original kinetic methodology “Isoconversional Kinetic Analysis” also known as “Model-free Kinetics”.


We focus on the processes of degradation, relaxation, crystallization, gelation, and polymerization. Our special focus is on the nanostructured polymeric systems. We use the TGA, MS, IR, DSC, and DMA to understand the effect of polymer chain nanoconfinement on the thermal behavior of polymers.


Amorphous pharmaceuticals are inherently unstable and tend to relax toward the stable crystalline state that ultimately results in the formation of crystalline drugs, which have significantly lower bioavailability. In order to evaluate stability of the amorphous drugs we probe their relaxation kinetics at temperatures significantly below the glass transition temperature. DSC is employed to detect the process of relaxation and crystallization occurring in aged amorphous samples.


We use TGA and DSC to study the thermal decomposition kinetics of explosives and propellants. Obtaining reliable kinetic characteristics of decomposition is important for estimating thermal stability of energetic materials as well as for simulating the decomposition rates at the high temperatures associated with the combustion conditions. By combining DMA and MS, we have developed a novel analytical technique for studying mechanochemical effects in degradation of energetic materials such as nitrocellulose.


Mettler-Toledo: TGA 851e, DSC 822e, DSC 823e (TOPEM® – multi-frequency temperature modulated DSC), TMA 840, High Pressure DSC 27HP, DSC 30, FP84HT hot stage; Olympus Polarized Light Microscope; Tritec 2000 DMA; Pfeiffer Thermostar Quadrupole MS; Nicolet Nexus 470 FTIR Spectrometer.


Department of Defense, Army Research Office, Boehringer-Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Center for Pharmaceutical Processing Research, ACS Petroleum Research Fund, NSF

Group members since 2001:

Undergraduate students: Jay Stone, Mike Susner, Stephanie Martindale, Kehley Harris, Amy Jablonski, Ashley Baker, Samantha Simmons.

Graduate students: Yanxi Zhang, Justin Lang, Kai Chen, Jeff Atkinson, Scott Wilson, Reza Farasat, Rachel Prado.

Postdoctoral students: Ion Dranca, Kai Chen, BenYancey

Selected Publications

147. Vyazovkin, S., Yancey, B., Walker, K. Nucleation-driven kinetics of poly(ethylene terephthalate) melting Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 214 (22), 2013, pp. 2562-2566.

146. Farasat, R., Yancey, B., Vyazovkin, S. High temperature solid-solid transition in ammonium chloride confined to nanopores Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117 (26), 2013, pp. 13713-13721.

145. Atkinson, J.L., Vyazovkin, S. Dynamic mechanical analysis and hydrolytic degradation behavior of linear and branched poly(L-lactide)s and poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)s Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 214 (7), 2013,  pp. 835-843.

144. Book Chapter: S. Vyazovkin, Thermogravimetric Analysis, in: “Characterization of materials”, 2nd ed.; Ed. E. Kaufmann, John Wiley & Sons, 2012 (ISBN: 978-1-1181-1074-4), Vol. 1, p. 471-482.

143. N. Guigo, N. Sbirrazzuoli, S. Vyazovkin, Atypical gelation in gelatin solutions probed by ultra fast calorimetry, Soft Matter, 2012, v. 8, N27, 7116-7121 (featured on journal cover)

142. N. Guigo, N. Sbirrazzuoli, S. Vyazovkin, Gelation on heating of supercooled gelatin solutions, Macromol. Rapid Commun., 33 (8): 2012, 698-702.

141. J. L. Atkinson, S. Vyazovkin, Thermal Properties and Degradation Behavior of Linear and Branched Poly(L-lactide)s and Poly(L-lactide-co-glycolide)s, Macromol. Chem. Phys. 213 (9): 2012, 924–936.

140. S. Vyazovkin, A. K. Burnham, J. M. Criado, L. A. Pérez-Maqueda, C. Popescu, N. Sbirrazzuoli, ICTAC Kinetics Committee Recommendations for Performing Kinetic Computations on Thermal Analysis Data, Thermochim. Acta, 2011, v. 520, N1-2, 1-19.

137. R. B. Prime, H. E. Bair, S. Vyazovkin, P. K. Gallagher, A. Riga, Thermogravimetric Analysis, in: “Thermal Analysis of Polymers, Fundamentals and Applications”, Eds. J. D. Menczel and R. B. Prime, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 688p. (invited book chapter)

135. I. Dranca, S. Vyazovkin, Thermal stability of gelatin gels: effect of preparation conditions on the activation energy barrier to melting, Polymer, 2009, v. 50, N20, 4859-4867.

134. K. Chen, S. Vyazovkin, Isoconversional kinetics of glass aging, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2009, v. 113, N14, 4631-4635.

131. K. Chen, S. Vyazovkin, Temperature dependence of sol-gel conversion kinetics in gelatin-water system, Macromol. Biosci., 2009, v. 9, N4, 383-392.

130. K. Chen, A. N. Baker, S. Vyazovkin, Formation and thermal behavior of polystyrene and polystyrene-clay gels. Macromol. Chem. Phys., 2008, v. 209, N23, 2367–2373 (featured on journal cover).

127. A. J. Lang, S. Vyazovkin, Ammonium nitrate – polymer glasses: a new concept for phase and thermal stabilization of ammonium nitrate, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2008, v. 112, N36, 11236-11243

125. K. Chen, K. Harris, S. Vyazovkin, Tacticity as a factor contributing to the thermal stability of polystyrene, Macromol. Chem. Phys., 2007, v. 208, N23, 2525-2532 (featured on journal cover).

124. K. Chen, C. A. Wilkie, S. Vyazovkin, Nano-confinement Revealed in Degradation and Relaxation Studies of Two Structurally Different Polystyrene-Clay Systems, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2007, v. 111, N44, 12685-12692

122. S. Vyazovkin, L. Vincent, N. Sbirrazzuoli, Thermal Denaturation of Collagen Analyzed by Isoconversional Method, Macromol. Biosci., 2007, v. 7, N11, 1181-1186 (featured on journal cover).

121. Y. Zhang, S. Vyazovkin, Effect of Substituents in Aromatic Amines on the Activation Energy of Epoxy-Amine Copolymerization, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2007, v. 111, N25, 7098-7104.

120. S. Vyazovkin, I. Dranca, Effect of Physical Aging on Nucleation of Amorphous Indomethacin,              J. Phys. Chem. B, 2007,  V. 111, N25, 7283-7287.