Particle Characterization


There is a wide range of man-made particles and an even wider range of particles that can be found in nature. While quantum mechanics or even more complex theories are required to explain elementary particles such as neutrons, electromagnetic theory and classic mechanical physics are typically sufficient to explain the fundamental behavior of particles larger than 1 nm. This does not mean that the behavior of such particles could easily be predicted. Scientists continue to encounter unexpected and sometimes dazzling behavior of particles on nearly daily basis, as the huge number of scientific publications in this field can verify.



While the public perception often focuses on the latest breakthrough in elementary particle science, it is probably far more important for man-kind to understand the science of particles larger than 1 nm than to understand the physics of a quark or the Higgs boson. Such elementary particles have little impact on our  environment  or  daily  life  that  we  could  influence.  Here  we  will  thus  only consider  particles larger than 1 nm.


Related products:


Performs advanced DLS & SLS to obtain hydrodynamic radius, radius of gyration, molecular weight, form and structure factor as well as second virial coefficient. Offers unmatched range and precision of scattering angles.

LS Spectrometer


Image presents LS Spectrometer which is an advanced instrument for DLS and SLS measurements. It enables measurement of hydrodynamic radius, radius of gyration, 2nd viral coefficient, molecular weight, form factor and structure factor.

3D LS Spectrometer


Image depicts NanoLab 3D which is suitable for DLS measurement of highly concentrated turbid samples

NanoLab 3D


Particles, bubbles and droplets

Particles do not necessarily have to be solid. They could be liquid, such as an oil droplet in an emulsion or even gaseous (bubbles). They could be integrated in a solid (such as clay particles in cement), in a liquid (such as particles in paint), or in a gas (such as aerosols).


Nanoparticles and Microparticles

There are two main size regimes by which scientist classify particles. Any particle smaller than 1 micron should be called a nanoparticle, while any particle larger than 1 micron, but smaller than 1 mm should be called a microparticle. Both nanoparticles and microparticles are often called colloids.


Measuring Particles 

Since there are many different particles stretching over wide range of sizes there is also a huge range of instruments to measure them. A full particle characterization might require several instruments based on different techniques. The most common characteristic of a particle are:


particle characterization: nanoparticles

Some typical nanoparticles:
monodisperse Latex particles