dynamic vapor sorption photo 2
dynamic vapor sorption
dynamic vapor sorption photo 3

Dynamic Vapor Sorption

Moisture sorption properties of a material can provide critical information on the stability, processing, performance, and storage of materials. Moisture sorption analysis is applicable to pharmaceuticals, food products, packaging, personal care products, fibers, building materials and agricultural materials.

Dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) is a gravimetric technique that measures the quantity, and how quickly water vapor is adsorbed and/or absorbed by a material, such as cement, or an active pharmaceutical ingredient. Accurate measurements are achieved by controlling the temperature and humidity electronically, allowing excellent instrument baseline stability as well as accurate control of the generated relative humidity.

DVS instruments work by flowing precisely controlled concentrations of water vapors in dry air over a sample at a known flow rate and temperature. The sample rests on a digital microbalance which detects the sorption/desorption of water vapor through the increase or decrease in mass of the material as the relative humidity (RH) varies. DVS instruments can also perform isoactivity (or isohume) measurements in which materials are kept under constant RH conditions while linearly or stepwise varying the temperature.

Additionally, DVS instruments can be set up to assess permeability of water vapor through a thin barrier, e.g. packaging materials or membranes. The sample pan is filled with a known desiccant (e.g. molecular sieves), sealed with the membrane of interest, and exposed to high RH levels. Alternately, the sample pan is filled with water or saturated salt solutions with known water activity, sealed with the membrane of interest, and exposed to low RH levels.

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  • Relatively quick way of obtaining the water sorption and desorption isotherm of the sample (typically in 3-5 days) compared to traditional methods (typically weeks to months)


  • Water vapor only (some organic solvents can be used for static vapor sorption only)
  • Maximum %RH achievable depends on analysis temperature and instrument used

Sample Requirements/Detection Range


SMS DVS Intrinsic 1 ProUmid Vsorp Plus
Recommended sample quantity 50-100 mg 1-100 g
Sample pan size 8 mm base diameter,

3 mm depth

50 mm base diameter,

11 mm depth

Balance resolution ± 0.1 µg ± 10 µg (up to 111 g)

or ± 100 µg (up to 220 g)

Temperature range 20 – 40 °C 15 – 40 °C
Humidity range 0 – 98% RH Max RH depends on analysis temperature,

e.g. 0 – 95% RH at 25 °C,

0 – ~70% RH at 15 or 40 °C

Throughput 1 sample at a time Up to 11 samples at a time
Permeability analysis Not available at PTL Available at PTL
Qualified for cGMP use? Yes Not at this time


Data Reported

Change in mass versus either increase / decrease in %RH or in temperature (if %RH held constant).


Two instrument models are available at PTL, Surface Measurement Systems DVS Intrinsic 1 and ProUmid Vsorp Plus.

DVS Intrinsic 1

ProUmid Vsorp Plus

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