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Accurate measurement of fine particle size materials is important in a wide range of applications: acrylic latex paints, impact modifiers, emulsion based adhesives, PVC resins, pigments, fillers, carbon blacks, abrasives, photographic emulsions, and many others.

Some customers need high resolution particle size analysis, but do not have a sufficient number of samples to justify the purchase of an instrument. CPS offers limited particle size analysis services.

CPS can measure particle size distributions for a wide range materials. The maximum and minimum sizes that can be accurately measured will depend on the density of the particles, and also upon whether the particle can be dispersed effectively in aqueous and/or non-aqueous liquids. The absolute maximum size that can be routinely measured is about 100 microns, while the absolute minimum size that can be routinely measured is about 0.003 micron. The sample size (active basis) can be much less than one gram for all samples. When the average size is below 10 microns, much less than a milligram active sample weight is normally sufficient. Samples over 20 microns average size normally require larger samples, especially when the particles to be measured are high in density; in some cases up to 50 grams may be needed.

Here is a partial list of materials that can be measured:

  • Polymer latexes (aqueous) with ANY particle density

  • Emulsions of Oils and Waxes

  • Titanium Dioxide

  • Photographic Emulsions

  • Carbon Black (for printing inks and many other applications)

  • Ground Calcium Carbonate

  • Precipitated Calcium Carbonate

  • Clays

  • Abrasives (including ultra-fine diamond particles)

  • CMP Compounds for Integrated Circuit Manufacture

  • Inorganic Fillers

  • Inorganic Pigments

  • Ground Sucrose Powders

  • Starch and Flour

  • Powered (water soluble) Drugs and Medications

  • Virus Particles

  • Protein Molecule Clusters and Virus-like Particles (to below 20 nm)

  • Magnetic Iron Oxide (magnetic storage applications)


The graph below shows an overlay of a 'clean' and 'dirty' adenovirus sample.

Adenovirus 1.jpg

Analyses of all samples can be presented as weight, surface, or number distributions. All analyses are guaranteed to be accurate to within +/- 3%, so long as the density of the particles in the sample can be accurately determined.

The following information is needed for accurate analysis of samples:

  • Chemical composition (approximate)

  • Particle density

  • Particle porosity (if any)

  • Refractive index (if applicable)

  • Approximate size range of interest (if known)

With this basic information, we can quickly estimate the practical measurement range for your samples. If particle density is unknown, CPS can make a reasonably accurate determination of density (+/- ~ 1%), so long as a sample of at least several grams can be sent to us. Density can be determined on samples where the availaible sample weight is very small (much less than a milligram) at some additional cost. Any hazardous or potentially hazardous sample must be accompanied by an MSDS.

- Dr. Caterina Minelli, Nanoanalysis Group of the National Physical Laboratory, UK
“The CPS technique is very precise and produces particle size distributions with extremely high resolution. ”  
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