Microtrac Nanotrac Flex
Microtrac Nanotrac Flex
The Nanotrac Flex in-situ particle size analyser delivers fast and accurate analysis capability. Powered by Microtrac’s enhanced Dynamic Light Scattering technology, the Nanotrac Flex is ideal for measuring particles across wide concentration ranges using minimal sample volume. Named appropriately, the external probe provides users with the flexibility to measure sub nanometer to several micron particle suspensions in-situ (in process) or on a lab bench. What sets the Nanotrac Flex apart from other DLS systems is the unique probe technology, which turns any vessel into a sample cell. The probe also utilises an enhanced optical signal, which yields fast, accurate, and sensitive particle size measurements of materials ranging from ppm to near finished product. The Nanotrac Flex is designed for in-situ measurements of colloidal systems. It is based on 180° heterodyne dynamic light scattering and can measure up to 40% w/v material concentration. With this setup, a part of the laser beam is added to the scattered light. This works like an optical enhancement of the scattered light. Particle sizes range from 0.8 to 6,500 nm. In addition to particle size one can also measure the molecular weight according to Debye. The needed dn/dc value needed will be measured automatically and doesn’t need to be added from a table. A mixture of 100 and 250 nm Polystyrol Latex will be detected as separate peaks. Despite its multiple capabilities, it doesn’t lack in accuracy and safety. The extensive analysis data highly exceeds the requirements of ISO 22412 and meets safety requirements according to CFR21 Part 11. The fibre measurement method is used in the Nanotrac Flex to use the fiber end as a dip-in probe. Advantages of this method are that no cuvettes are needed, the direct measurement in the product and the inline option. The results are ready after a measurement time of 10 to 100 seconds. The parameters like refractive index and absorption of the particles, as well as the viscosity of the surrounding liquid, are needed for the accuracy, and are available in a database. With the proprietary Mie calculation, the user is able to measure transparent or light absorbing samples, as well as spherical and irregular particles. The probe, which is the catalyst for Reference Beating, Microtrac’s enhancement to traditional DLS, increases the optical signal back to the detector anywhere from 100 to 1,000,000 times more than systems who use “self-beating.” The enhanced signal produces superior analysis results when measuring single modes or multi-modes across the widest concentration range. Applications for the Nanotrac Flex:
  • Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology
  • Chemicals
  • Food/Beverage
  • Plastics/Polymers
  • Coatings/Coverings
  • Inks
  • Adhesives
  • Academic Research
Nanotrac Flex In-situ Particle Size Analyser Details:
  • Turn any vessel into a sample cell – the external probe allows you to dip and measure
  • Small sample volume required
  • Amplified optical signal for unparalleled accuracy and sensitivity, compliments of Reference Beating – only from Microtrac
  • Measures particles ranging in size from 0.8 to 6,500 nanometres
  • No advanced, or “A priori” knowledge of the particle size distribution is required
  • Ability to measure size and concentration simultaneously.
  • Molecular weight determination
  • Numerous probe lengths available
  • Universal solvent compatibility
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System for characterization of colloids by dynamic light scattering within a size range of 0.8 nm to 6.5 µm. Suitable for material systems with concentrations from ppm up to 40% vol., depending on substance type. Minimum is 1 droplet. Particle Size Distribution The NANO-flex® 180° DLS System measures size distributions in the range of 0.8 nm to 6.5 µm. The applied heterodyne 180° back scattering principle of the Nanotrac® is characterised by its high selectivity in the nano-range and is therefore also suitable for samples with broad size distribution. Highly concentrated samples are measured without interfering multiple scattering. The applied Nanotrac® back scattering in the NANO-flex® is designed as a flexible measuring probe with 8 mm ø. Thus, it can be used in many ways, even in-situ and in the measuring cylinder of the Stabino®! Molecular weight determination according to Debye Further to the DLS size, a Debye plot feature with automatic dn/dc determination provides molecular weight. [media-downloader media_id="1165" texts="Click here for details"]  
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Nanosurf - Flex-Axiom — AFM for materials research
Nanosurf – Flex-Axiom — AFM for materials research

Versatility, performance and seamless application extensions

  • Easy to use and high performance
  • High resolution and low-noise design
  • Modes and accessories to handle all your research needs
  • Extremely modular to keep you productive
  • Upgradable for life science and operation on large stages


  • Imaging of samples in air and liquid
  • Advanced mechanical, electrical and magnetical modes
  • Electrochemical AFM
  • Environmental control
  • Scanning thermal microscopy and nano thermal analysis (SThM and Nano-TA)
  • Advanced force spectroscopy

Lateral force microscopy on polystyrene-polybutadiene blend

The lateral force imaging mode was used to image local friction differences between the two polymers

Polystyrene and polybutadiene are shown to have quite different surface properties
lateral-force-1 Overlay of difference between lateral deflection in forward and backward directions on top of topography. The difference is dominated by friction forces. Polystyrene (green areas) shows a higher friction than polybutadiene.System: FlexAFM with ES2 controller Scan size: 9 µm Cantilever: PPP-CONTSCROverlay of friction on topography
lateral-force-2 Overlay of average of lateral deflection in forward and backward directions on top of topography. The average is dominated by slope variations in the sample. The steepest slope (in red) is observed close to a large inset of polystyrene. The average shows no large color difference between the polymers in flatter areas.Overlay of slope on topography
lateral-force-3 Line section of lateral deflection difference and average of forward and backward scan directions. Line section of friction and slope signals

Electrochemical AFM

This report demonstrates the capability of the FlexAFM in studies of charged solid-liquid interfaces

In order to carry out electrochemical(in-situ)AFM experiments, a conductive sample was mounted in an electrochemical liquid cell and connected to a lab-build bipotentiostat. We employed Clavilier-type Au(111) single crystal bead crystal electrodes with facets of micrometer-wide terraces. As examples, we studied the lifting of the Au(111)-(pxV3)reconstruction, surface oxidation as well as the growth and dissolution of copper clusters in sulfuric acid solution. electrochemical-afm

3D Copper cluster grown on Au(111)

KPFM using the Nanosurf FlexAFM

Kelvin probe force microscopy imaging

Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy (KPFM) is an extension of AFM. The technique was first published in 1991 by Nonnenmacher and coworkers. Using KPFM, images can be recorded that contain information on the local work function or local contact potential difference between tip and sample. Although all Nanite systems with an SPM S200 controller and all current Easyscan 2 AFM systems are in principle capable of performing KPFM, the FlexAFM has demonstrated best KPFM performance and is therefore the instrument of choice for this type of measurement. For a detailed description of requirements and procedures, please contact Nanosurf support.
kpmg Topography. Scan Range: 10 µm x 10 µm. Z-range: 9 nm.
kpmg-2 KPFM Signal. Scan range: 10 µm x 10 µm. Local charges that were placed on an insulating (oxide) surface layer in a "Swiss cross" pattern. Image courtesy: Marcin Kisiel, Thilo Glatzel and students of the Nanocurriculum of the University of Basel.KPFM signal (top) and simultaneously recorded Topography data (bottom) are shown.
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