A comparative study of submicron particle sizing platforms: accuracy, precision and resolution analysis of polydisperse particle size distributions

Anderson, Will, Kozak, Darby, Coleman, Victoria A., Jämting, Asa K. and Trau, Matt (2013) A comparative study of submicron particle sizing platforms: accuracy, precision and resolution analysis of polydisperse particle size distributions. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 405 322-330. doi:10.1016/j.jcis.2013.02.030


Author Anderson, Will
Kozak, Darby
Coleman, Victoria A.
Jämting, Asa K.
Trau, Matt
Title A comparative study of submicron particle sizing platforms: accuracy, precision and resolution analysis of polydisperse particle size distributions
Journal name Journal of Colloid and Interface Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-9797
1095-7103
Publication date 2013-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jcis.2013.02.030
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 405
Start page 322
End page 330
Total pages 9
Place of publication Maryland Heights, MO, United States
Publisher Academic Press
Language eng
Subject 2504 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
2502 Biomaterials
2508 Surfaces, Coatings and Films
1505 Colloid and Surface Chemistry
Abstract The particle size distribution (PSD) of a polydisperse or multimodal system can often be difficult to obtain due to the inherent limitations in established measurement techniques. For this reason, the resolution, accuracy and precision of three new and one established, commercially available and fundamentally different particle size analysis platforms were compared by measuring both individual and a mixed sample of monodisperse, sub-micron (220, 330, and 410. nm - nominal modal size) polystyrene particles. The platforms compared were the qNano Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensor, Nanosight LM10 Particle Tracking Analysis System, the CPS Instruments's UHR24000 Disc Centrifuge, and the routinely used Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS Dynamic Light Scattering system. All measurements were subjected to a peak detection algorithm so that the detected particle populations could be compared to 'reference' Transmission Electron Microscope measurements of the individual particle samples. Only the Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensor and Disc Centrifuge platforms provided the resolution required to resolve all three particle populations present in the mixed 'multimodal' particle sample. In contrast, the light scattering based Particle Tracking Analysis and Dynamic Light Scattering platforms were only able to detect a single population of particles corresponding to either the largest (410. nm) or smallest (220. nm) particles in the multimodal sample, respectively. When the particle sets were measured separately (monomodal) each platform was able to resolve and accurately obtain a mean particle size within 10% of the Transmission Electron Microscope reference values. However, the broadness of the PSD measured in the monomodal samples deviated greatly, with coefficients of variation being ~2-6-fold larger than the TEM measurements across all four platforms. The large variation in the PSDs obtained from these four, fundamentally different platforms, indicates that great care must still be taken in the analysis of samples known to have complex PSDs. All of the platforms were found to have high precision, i.e. they gave rise to less than 5% variance in PSD shape descriptors over the replicate measurements.
Formatted abstract
The particle size distribution (PSD) of a polydisperse or multimodal system can often be difficult to obtain due to the inherent limitations in established measurement techniques. For this reason, the resolution, accuracy and precision of three new and one established, commercially available and fundamentally different particle size analysis platforms were compared by measuring both individual and a mixed sample of monodisperse, sub-micron (220, 330, and 410 nm – nominal modal size) polystyrene particles. The platforms compared were the qNano Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensor, Nanosight LM10 Particle Tracking Analysis System, the CPS Instruments’s UHR24000 Disc Centrifuge, and the routinely used Malvern Zetasizer Nano ZS Dynamic Light Scattering system. All measurements were subjected to a peak detection algorithm so that the detected particle populations could be compared to ‘reference’ Transmission Electron Microscope measurements of the individual particle samples. Only the Tunable Resistive Pulse Sensor and Disc Centrifuge platforms provided the resolution required to resolve all three particle populations present in the mixed ‘multimodal’ particle sample. In contrast, the light scattering based Particle Tracking Analysis and Dynamic Light Scattering platforms were only able to detect a single population of particles corresponding to either the largest (410 nm) or smallest (220 nm) particles in the multimodal sample, respectively. When the particle sets were measured separately (monomodal) each platform was able to resolve and accurately obtain a mean particle size within 10% of the Transmission Electron Microscope reference values. However, the broadness of the PSD measured in the monomodal samples deviated greatly, with coefficients of variation being ∼2–6-fold larger than the TEM measurements across all four platforms. The large variation in the PSDs obtained from these four, fundamentally different platforms, indicates that great care must still be taken in the analysis of samples known to have complex PSDs. All of the platforms were found to have high precision, i.e. they gave rise to less than 5% variance in PSD shape descriptors over the replicate measurements.

Highlights ► The accuracy of particle size distribution measurements is technique dependent. ► The disparity between measurements made by different techniques increases with sample complexity and polydispersity. ► Only TRPS and DCS techniques resolved all particles present in complex multimodal samples. ► PTA and DLS techniques had lower resolution and reported higher polydispersity than truly present in all test samples. ► All four techniques tested had high repeat measurement precision.
Keyword Multimodal
Nanoparticle
Characterization
Malvern zetasizer
Dynamic light scattering
qNano tunable resistive pulse sensor
Nanosight particle tracking analysis
CPS disc centrifuge
Transmission electron microscopy
Dynamic light-scattering
Nanoparticles
Dispersions
Microscopy
Tracking
Sensors
Objects
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Fri, 06 Sep 2013, 19:02:38 EST by Mrs Louise Nimwegen on behalf of Aust Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology