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Sublimators

Index  

Introduction

book cover

Purification of Laboratory Chemicals is one of many books and pamphlets you'll find at Safety Emporium.

Before we can talk about sublimators we should differentiate between two terms that are often used interchangeably:

In other words, a compound may sublimate or undergo sublimation. You can sublime the compound. You do not sublimate the compound and the compound does not sublime.

In actual practice even experienced professionals will use these words interchangeably, but it is a good idea to be aware of these semantic differences.

The apparatus

Introduction

A basic sublimation apparatus (also called a sublimer or sublimator) has a section where the compound to be sublimed is placed and a cooler section above this where the purified material will collect. Typically, the compound is heated and collected on a chilled piece called a cold finger. Usually, but not always, the sublimation is performed under reduced pressure. Several different examples of common sublimators are shown below.

Click on any sublimer below for more information or to order

Micro Sublimer
Microscale Sublimer
Sublimation Adapter
Sublimation Adapter
Non-Vacuum Sublimation Apparatus
Non-Vacuum Sublimation Apparatus

Dailey Vacuum Sublimer
Dailey Vacuum Sublimer
Cryogenic Sublimation Apparatus
Cryogenic Sublimation Apparatus

The sublimation adapter shown above is designed to be placed into a flask. This design is cheaper, but it is often difficult to get the cold finger out of a narrow joint without contaminating or losing the sublimated material.

Bigger and fancier sublimators also exist. However, some compounds (such as ferrocene) can be sublimed simply by placing them in a Petri dish and then heating the dish on a hot plate.

Handy tips for using vacuum sublimators

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This page was last updated Sunday, June 12, 2016.
This document and associated figures* are copyright 1996-2016 by Rob Toreki. Send comments, kudos and suggestions to us via email.
*Some of these figures are adapted from the Chemglass, Inc. catalog and have been reproduced with permission.