Heterogeneity of the state and functionality of water molecules sorbed in an amorphous sugar matrix

Koreyoshi Imamura, Ryo Kagotani, Mayo Nomura, Kohshi Kinugawa, Kazuhiro Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


An amorphous matrix, comprised of sugar molecules, is frequently used in the pharmaceutical industry. An amorphous sugar matrix exhibits high hygroscopicity, and it has been established that the sorbed water lowers the glass transition temperature T g of the amorphous sugar matrix. It is naturally expected that the random allocation and configuration of sugar molecules would result in heterogeneity of states for sorbed water. However, most analyses of the behavior of water, when sorbed to an amorphous sugar matrix, have implicitly assumed that all of the sorbed water molecules are in a single state. In this study, the states of water molecules sorbed in an amorphous sugar matrix were analyzed by Fourier-transform IR spectroscopy and a Fourier self-deconvolution technique. When sorbed water molecules were classified into five states, according to the extent to which they are restricted, three of the states resulted in a lowering of T g of an amorphous sugar matrix, while the other two were independent of the plasticization of the matrix. This finding provides an explanation for the paradoxical fact that compression at several hundreds of MPa significantly decreases the equilibrium water content at a given RH, while the T g remains unchanged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-113
Number of pages6
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Amorphous sugar
  • Compression
  • Freeze-drying
  • Glass transition temperature
  • Heterogeneity
  • Water sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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