Nanoparticle Analysis with Dynamic Light Scattering
Nanoparticles provide crucial functionality across a wide range of materials, applications, and sectors. Our expert analysts and consultants provide nanoparticle analysis and characterisation services to all industries to help manufacturers understand material behaviour, properties, and particle distribution. Between our DLS and WLI capabilities, we’ll have the solutions for your material issues.
Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) analysis allows us to confidently measure the size distribution profiles of particles in the sub-micron range. This technique is particularly useful to study the behaviour of nanoparticles in suspensions.
Combined with zeta potential information, DLS data, versus time, provides insights into (for example) the tendency for nanoparticles to agglomerate.
Why use DLS?
As well as solid particles, DLS is invaluable for visualising how surfactant molecules arrange together as micellar structures. Such arrangements alter with surfactant concentration and the concentration of simple electrolyte ions present. This information supports research and development in drug delivery and consumer products such as shampoos and toothpastes, to give just two examples.
Nanoparticles are a focus area for many industries. Potential applications include:
- Nanoparticle use in targeted oncology treatments
- Increasing the available power in batteries
- Controlled formation of larger materials with specific properties
- Slurry control – wanted or unwanted flocculation / sedimentation
How it works
The sample is suspended in solution to give slight turbidity. A laser is fired through the sample and the light is scattered by suspended particles. By monitoring the intensity of the scattered light versus time at a fixed angle, this data can be mathematically converted to a nanoparticle size and distribution within the sample.
DLS is mainly suited to particulate of less than 1 micron which remains in suspension without the need of agitation. It’s an ideal analytical technique for high value or early-stage development testing and final quality control, due to small sample size requirements (typically 1ml suspension) and measurement times of a few minutes. Examples include proteins, surfactant micelles, vesicles, nanoparticles, biological cells, and primary agglomerations in gels.