How Do Particle Size Analysers Determine Material Characterisation?There are copious methods of particle assessment for material characterisation, with different samples requiring varying techniques and methodologies to ascertain its viability for use in a consumer or industrial product, or for research purposes. Particle size analysers are subsequently varied, relying on different instrumentation to perform accurate analyses of particle morphology to further determine the biological or physiochemical properties of a material. Particle size analysers are designed to operate to widely varying specifications and dimensions to acquire accurate data about material properties, physical structures, system stabilities, and more. This is achieved by complex instrumental arrays which are capable of probing materials with low invasiveness to allow researchers to accurately determine material characterisation. This article will explore the highly specialised parameters of various particle size analysers for the determination of material characterisation in a broad range of industries:
ShapeSizerThe ShapeSizer is an established static analysis system which measures materials and provides a suite of graphical imaging outputs for research purposes. Using an optical microscope with a varifocal lens and a high-quality 1.3-megapixel camera, this particle size analyser informs material characterisation by non-invasively measuring samples on a standard slide. This setup can determine particle size distribution, including minimum and maximum sizes, as well as particle shape parameters.
FlowCAM PV-SeriesThe FlowCAM PV-Series is an imaging-based particle analyser with a high degree of portability. It combines rapid acquisition of thousands of particle images with as many as 32 different measurements performed per particle image. It can perform a range of shape and morphological measurements, including both ABD and ESD-based volumetric measurements.
These image-based measurements create accurate pictures capable of quickly highlighting the quantitative metrics of various particles, while accurate automation allows for high throughput material characterisation for a range of applications, including the characterisation of column packing particles such as silica.
nCS1 High Resolution Nanoparticle Size AnalyserThe nCS1 can measure individual nanoparticles in a solution to provide quantitative data on particles ranging from 50nm to 2µm. It eschews conventional optical equipment in favour of a technique known as Microfluidic Resistive Pulse Sensing (MRPS), also known as the Coulter Principle, which suspends nanoparticles in microfluidic capsules and forces them through an aperture, wherein they can be electronically detected. This allows for the material characterisation of an array of nanoparticles with no dependency upon its physiochemical properties, including its transparency.
The nCS1 can analyse particle concentration within a range of approximately 106 – 1012 particles per milliliter. It is immediately available for material characterisation of ingredients for drugs and medicines, with further applications in the field of nanomedicines.