Particle Characterization

Particle size matters, in foods, pharmaceuticals and coatings but also forestry, mining and agriculture. And apart from size, there are also the particle shapes and surface area to consider, as well as the zeta potential (the electrical potential at the interface which separates mobile fluid from fluid that remains attached to the surface of a particle) and, of course, particle concentration. All these characteristics are important to understand and monitor particles in a wide variety of systems, from bulk materials for manufacturing to virus particles in our blood stream.


♦    Partica LA-960V2 | Laser Scattering Particle Size Distribution Analyzer

♦    Partica mini LA-350 | Laser Scattering Particle Size Distribution Analyzer

♦    nanoPartica SZ-100V2 Series | Nanoparticle Analyzer

♦    Partica CENTRIFUGE CN-300 | Centrifugal Nanoparticle Analyzer


♦    nanoPartica SZ-100V2 Series | Nanoparticle Analyzer


♦    nanoPartica SZ-100V2 Series | Nanoparticle Analyzer

How does particle characterization work?

The standard technique for particle size characterization is Laser Scattering Particle Size Distribution analysis. Laser light is scattered by the particles in a sample, forming a diffraction pattern. Analysis of the scattered light will provide information on particle size, from micrometers to nanometer. A Multi-Laser Nanoparticle Tracking system allows you to acquire data on particle size distribution and particle concentration.

Static (laser or LED) light is used to image particles passing through an optical flow cell. This can also be used to assess particle shape, starting at around 1 micrometer. The particle surface area can be measured acquiring gas adsorption and desorption data of particles with the flowing gas method.

Zeta potential is measured in solution using electrodes, which attract the particles based on their charge. Laser light is used to measure the particle speed at different voltages, from which the zeta potential of the particles can be calculated.

Why use particle characterization?

Many bulk materials are shipped as dry particles, such as ground powders. This is the case for foods, but also for metal powders used in coatings, and polymers for plastics production, to name just a few examples. Pharmaceuticals can be delivered as liquid emulsions. In all these cases, particle characterization is important to monitor quality before these products are used in production.

The wide range of applications and the great diversity in particle systems requires an equally wide range of instruments for particle characterization. ST Instruments offers these instruments, produced by Horiba Scientific. They allow analysis of dry particles or particles in a liquid (emulsions) from the micro- to nanoscale.

Applications of particle characterization?

ST Instruments provides a range of particle analyzers by Horiba scientific to cover all kinds of applications.