Sergey Vyazovkin. Professor
CHEM 262
(205) 975-9410

Research and Teaching Interests: Analytical and Physical Chemistry, Thermophysical Properties of Materials, Kinetics and Mechanisms of Thermally Stimulated Processes

Office Hours: By appointment only

  • BS, Belarusian State University, Chemistry
  • PhD, Belarusian State University, Physical Chemistry

Prof. Vyazovkin graduated with honors from Belarusian 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.

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.
  • Quantitative Analysis (CH355/555)
  • Instrumental Analysis (CH450/550)
  • Chemometrics (CH451/651/751)
  • Thermal Processes and Methods (CH659/759)
  • Vyazovkin, S. Isoconversional Kinetics of Thermally Stimulated Processes, Springer, 2015.
  • Yancey, B.; Vyazovkin, S. Venturing into Kinetics and Mechanism of Nanoconfined Solid-state Reactions: Trimerization of Sodium Dicyanamide in Nanopores. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 2014, 16(23), 11409-16.
  • Vyazovkin, S.; Yancey, B.; Walker, K. Polymer Melting Kinetics Appears to be Driven by Heterogeneous Nucleation. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics 2014, 215(2), 205-209.
  • Farasat, R.; Yancey, B; Vyazovkin, S. High Temperature Solid-solid Transition in Ammonium Chloride Confined to Nanopores. Journal of Physical Chemistry C 2013, 117(26), 13713-21.
  • Vyazovkin, S. Thermogravimetric Analysis. In Characterization of Materials, 2nd ed.; E. Kaufmann, Ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
  • Guigo, N.; Sbirrazzuoli, N.; Vyazovkin, S. Atypical Gelation in Gelatin Solutions Probed by Ultra Fast Calorimetry. Soft Matter 2012, 8(27), 7116-21.
  • Editor: Thermochimica Acta
  • Editorial Board: Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, Macromolecular Rapid Communications
  • Invited Professorship, Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis, 2003 and 2007
  • 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, Member of ACS, NATAS, and ICTAC.