Application Notes

Having over 35 years of particle characterization experience, Microtrac has developed an extensive library of Application Notes.

Please click on the title link of an application note to download a PDF file and view the complete note of interest.

Microtrac Dynamic Light Scattering Application Notes

How to use viscosity in the DLS formula — Brownian motion is an effect that develops as a result of fluid molecules colliding with particles and causing their movement.  According to the Stoke-Einstein formula shown below, the particles are treated as point objects have no mass or density.  The movement of particles gives rise to diffusion through the suspension where the rate of diffusion is more rapid for small particles…

Particle size analysis of high concentration liposomes and micelle suspensions using Dynamic Light Scattering— Measuring particle size is vital to studying the growth of multi-lamellar structures, liposome agglomeration, membrane disruption, and microbiological contamination.  This application note explains how Microtrac’s enhanced Dynamic Light Scattering technology enables users to accurately measure these particles at higher concentrations, which reduces misinterpreted data from over dilution.

High concentration sub micron particle size distribution by DLS— Dynamic Light Scattering is a well-established technique for measuring particle size over the size range of a few nanometers to a few microns; however, at high sample concentrations severe limitations are placed on the DLS measurement.  This paper discusses the causes of the high concentration limitations, the means of overcoming the limitations, and the results of measurements at high concentrations…

Measurement of low concentration small sized particulate systems — This note describes the limits of detectability of particles in general below 6.5 microns…

Nanoparticle Sizing: Dynamic Light Scattering analysis in the Frequency Spectrum Mode— Dynamic Light Scattering analysis is the basis of a common particle sizing measurement covering the range of nanometers to microns.  At the nanometer end of the range, measurements becomes progressively more difficult as the particle optical scattering coefficients drop sharply, reducing the scattered light intensity…

Nanoparticle size measurements of printer ink using Dynamic Light Scattering — Microtrac Dynamic Light Scattering analyzers can measure inks of all colors including black, magenta, yellow, and blue.  Precise and sensitive particle size measurements can be conducted using high concentrations thanks to Microtrac’s enhanced Dynamic Light Scattering technology.  High concentration measurements and the ability to clearly resolve multi modes are possible because of the amplified optical signal generated by proprietary design elements.

UPA verses PCS multi-modal measurement— The comparison of instruments with the use of multimode samples determines performance criteria of mode resolution, mode size accuracy, and mode concentration accuracy.  The performance of the UPA and Photon Correlation Spectroscopy (PCS) was compared using…

Using Nanotrac to identify gushing in beer Beer is world’s oldest alcoholic beverage and rivals water and tea as the most popular drink. The brewing requires the fermentation of starch of which the primary source is barley while other sources such as wheat and rice may be used. Usually hops are added to modify bitterness flavor and retard spoilage. Alcohol by volume ranges from less than 1% to as much as 20% depending upon regional, cultural and legal desires…

Microtrac Laser Diffraction Application Notes

Particle size measurement of cement by Laser Diffraction— The manufacture of cement depends upon many factors, including chemical composition of raw materials, firing temperatures, and particle size.  Of particular interest in this note is particle size measurement, since it can affect the efficiency of process grinding and quality of the final product…

Use of power generation by-products in wallboard, cement, and plastics— This paper provides a short outline of some of the advances and positive actions taken by the electric power companies to comply with the Clean Air Act by using by-products of coal burning for electric power…

Unified scatter technique for full range particle size measurement— This paper provides a short summary of the history of different analytical techniques used to provide a complete particle size distribution and their benefits…

A conceptual, non-mathematical explanation on the use of refractive index on the particle size measurement— This paper provides a detailed analysis of the effect of the refractive index on the particle size distribution…

Powder Coatings and Particle Size Measurement— Powder particle size can have a major influence on many properties, including handling, charging, delivery, and coating characteristics.  The formulations may vary depending on application requirements of thickness, object shape, and ambient conditions…

Pigment Particle Size Measurement— This note describes the more general measurement of all pigment types using the Microtrac patented tri-laser diffraction analyzer…

Benefits of using Blue Lasers for Particle Size Measurement— The Tri-laser system has been upgraded to include blue lasers to provide advances in resolution and sensitivity in the submicron and nanosize ranges.  The concept of utilizing logarithmic detector design to provide shift-invariance described for tri-laser systems is maintained and extended to the combined use of blue and near-infrared lasers…

Accurate Particle Sizing Significantly Improves Processibility of Polymers— This note explains in detail the benefits of using particle size measurements to understand the complex process involved to make polymers…

The importance of representative sampling and dispersion for dry powder particle size measurements using laser diffraction – This application note explains the importance of representative sampling and dispersion for accurate particle size measurements of dry powders when using laser diffraction technology.

Using laser diffraction particle size analysis to monitor fines during the chocolate production process – This application note explains how laser diffraction particle size analysis can be used to measure fine particles during the production process of chocolate.

Microtrac Image Analysis Application Notes

The benefits of 3D image analysis— Dynamic Image Analysis (DIA) is a particle characterization technique rapidly growing in popularity, because it measures so much more, and so much better than older conventional methods measure and report only one particle parameter…

On-Line Particle Image Analysis to Control the Fertilizer Manufacturing Process – This application note explains how fertilizer manufacturers can increase their revenue and improve production efficiency by implementing 3D Particle Image Analysis.

Using-3D-particle-size-and-shape-to-measure-transparency-of-glass-beads – This white paper explains how Dynamic Image Analysis can accurately measure the size, shape, and transparency of glass beads used primarily for reflective road markings.  Additionally, this paper will also explain how the PartAn software can create filters, which allow a user to quickly identify “good beads” compared to “bad beads.”

Using 3D Dynamic Image Analysis to Measure Proppants – This application note explains the unique advantages of using 3D Dynamic Image Analysis compared to sieve analysis and microscopy to measure proppants, a key material used in the fracking process.

Dustmon Operation Procedure – Developed by the Microtrac pal, this helpful guide details, step by step, how to use the instrument and also explains how users of the Dustmon can obtain valuable information about the dust content of powders.

Using 3D Dynamic Image Analysis to Measure Geometric Parameters of Aggregates–  The following app note explains how users can quickly and accurately measure size, angularity, surface roughness, and elongation (to name of few) of fine and coarse aggregates.

Microtrac Miscellaneous Application Notes

Explanation of particle counter data— The following is a list of terminology, abbreviations, and calculations shown on reports…

Understanding the impact of microscopic observations compared to mass/volume distribution relationships— This paper describes an experiment in which Microtrac data and competitive light scattering data were evaluated and compared to optical microscopy and the issues that arise…

Understanding Laser Diodes Used in Particle Size Instruments
— This note addresses questions that often arise when types of lasers are considered by customers and lay particle size personnel…

Recalculation of Microtrac Data to Emulate Sieve Data (and other methods)— There are multiple methods that can be used to provide particle size distributions.  These include dynamic light scattering, which includes the well-known Microtrac method of frequency spectrum analysis.  Other methods include…


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