- Uses revolutionary IG technology developed by Shimadzu -
Shimadzu announces the release of the IG-1000 Single Nanoparticle Size Analyzer, which uses the revolutionary IG method technology developed independently by Shimadzu. It allows measuring the size and distribution of particles smaller than 10 nm in liquids (single nanoparticles) with excellent repeatability, measurements that were difficult with previous systems.
This analyzer is able to measure particles ranging from 0.5 nm to 200 nm by creating a diffraction grating with the particles and determining the particle diameter based on the diffusion speed with which the grating breaks down. Furthermore, measurements can be performed under normal environmental conditions, negating the need for a clean room or other special facilities.
* 1 nanometer is a billionth of a meter
* Diffraction grating: Part with multiple parallel slits spaced equidistant apart, used to select specific wavelengths of light
Until now, most analyzers, including our previous products, measured the diameter of particles based on the light scattered from the particles.* However, when using this light scattering method, the signal becomes significantly weaker as the particles become smaller, making it difficult to obtain accurate measurements.
* Particles are irradiated with light, then the particle size is determined from the intensity or distribution pattern of scattered light.
Therefore, we reconsidered the principle used to measure particle size and invented a method that provides equivalent signal strength regardless of the particle size, thereby enabling measurement of single nanoparticles under 10 nm with excellent sensitivity and repeatability. We named this new measurement technology the “IG method” and designed and developed the IG-1000 Single Nanoparticle Size Analyzer based on it. The IG method first forms a diffraction grating from the particles dispersed in the liquid based on dielectrophoresis action. Then when the grating begins to break down, the particles scatter at different speeds, with the larger particles moving more slowly and the smaller particles moving more quickly. The measurement principle of the IG method is based on determining the particle size from the diffusion speed of the diffraction grating.
* Dielectrophoresis is a method of moving fine particles using electrical flux lines between electrodes.
The IG method was developed to address the needs of markets that require measuring single nanoparticles accurately.
In recent years, more and more fields, such as semiconductors, electronics materials, fuel cell materials, etc., have become concerned with the nano-level of materials. For example, due to increased circuit density requirements, abrasives using nanomaterials are used for many semiconductor manufacturing processes. Also, some luminescent materials used in LEDs and other products can differ in generated color depending on slight nano-level differences in size. Therefore, considerable research is being performed.
For fuel cells, nano-sized platinum particles are applied to electrodes to increase surface area and generate many times more electricity. In the cosmetics industry, nanoparticles are used to increase both the absorption of nutrients and the reflection of UV rays.
Consequently, with the increasing usage of nanoparticles, it is essential that particle size and distributions be measured for quality control purposes. Meanwhile, with the remarkable progress accomplished in nanomaterials, there is also concern regarding its effect (nano risk) on humans and the environment. Therefore, it will become even more important to be able to understand the size and distribution of single nanoparticles smaller than 10 nm, which were previously difficult to measure accurately.
To address these needs, we are introducing the IG-1000, which is based on a completely different measurement principle from our previous product line and can measure single nanoparticle size and distribution with excellent sensitivity and repeatability, to the electronics/semiconductor, metals, ceramics, catalytic converter, fuel cell, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, environmental, and other industries, for use in research and development and quality control.
The market for nanoparticle size measurement instruments in Japan is forecasted to increase from 1.2 billion yen in 2006, to 2 billion yen in 2013.
Shimadzu, which is the largest supplier in Japan of laser diffraction particle size analyzers for particles over 100 nm, with 30% of the Japanese market, intends to be the largest domestic supplier for particle size analyzers of 1 nm to 100 nm nanoparticles as well.
This is the first time in the world that Shimadzu’s new independently developed IG method particle size measurement technology is used. Particle size is determined based on the time required to diffuse and break down a diffraction grating formed using dielectrophoresis.
The analyzer uses new particle size measurement technology to measure single nanoparticles, particularly those smaller than 10 nm, with excellent repeatability. With conventional systems that use light scattering, the signal strength that can be obtained from measuring a 1-nm particle is about 1 million times smaller than from a 100-nm particle. However, the IG method provides about the same signal strength for 1 nm as for 100 nm particles, meaning highly sensitive and repeatable measurements can be obtained even in regions of single nanoparticles below 10 nm.
The instrument is designed specifically for measuring nanoparticles in the 0.5 nm to 200 nm range. It is designed to measure nanoparticles dispersed in liquid. Using it in conjunction with the SALD-7101 Nanoparticle Size Analyzer currently available (laser diffraction/scattering system with measurement range of 10 nm to 300 µm) allows measurements ranging from single nanometers to micrometers.
Measurement requires only a small 250 µL (microliter) amount. Samples can be recovered after measurement, so valuable nanoparticle samples are not wasted.
Measurement is very fast, requiring only 30 seconds after starting the measurement until results are displayed. Since repeatability is so good, there is no need to repeatedly measure the same sample.
The “IG method” particle size measurement technology is not easily affected by small amounts of larger particles (contaminants) mixed in the sample. Therefore, measurements can be performed in normal environments and do not require any special room for testing.
The IG method is a new technology developed in Shimadzu’s Technology Research Laboratory for measuring the size and distribution of nanoparticles. It is a revolutionary measurement method that determines particle size by forming a grating pattern from large numbers of particles by dielectrophoretic action, then switching the dielectrophoretic current off and detecting changes in diffracted light intensity as the grating breaks down and the particles diffuse. Grating lines consisting of large particles diffuse slowly, whereas grating lines consisting of small particles, particularly single nanoparticles, diffuse quickly. Therefore, particle size can be determined from different diffusion speeds. Unlike conventional methods that use scattered light, the signal strength is not dependent on particle size. This means that roughly the same signal strength can be obtained from large and small particles alike, providing excellent repeatability for particle size measurements.