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Glass ampoules

An ampoule is a vessel, commonly made from glass, used to store chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Ampoules are hermetically sealed to prevent contamination from the outside atmosphere and can also be filled with an inert gas to prevent samples from degrading.


Ampoules are sealed using an open flame to melt the thin glass on the top, and broken by scoring the neck with a file and snapping the neck off. Once broken, it's difficult to seal them back in the same place, so reusing ampoules is not necessary.

Examples of chemicals sold in ampoules are injectable pharmaceuticals, air-sensitive reagents, hygroscopic materials like deuterated solvents (for NMR), and analytical standards.

Make your own ampoules

Main article: Ampoule production

Ampoules can be easily obtained online from sites such as eBay or American Science and Surplus, however one can make ampoules from various glass tubes, or broken pieces of tubular lab glassware, such as Pasteur pipettes, volumetric pipettes, graduated pipettes, test tubes, etc. The thinner the glass tubing is, the easier is to melt. Heat resistant glass is preferred, as normal soda-lime glass may crack under thermal stress.


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