Particle Size Analysis (PSA)

Particle size analysis utilizes laser diffraction to measure particle size in both liquid and solid samples.

An incoming laser beam is cast on individual particles, which scatter the incoming photons to generate a diffraction pattern. This pattern can be analyzed to obtain particle size distribution based on Fraunhofer and Mie theories of optics. Due to that information is generated on the sample at the speed of light, PSA measurements are highly efficient; data collection proceeds rapidly, and advanced interpretation becomes the major determinant of analysis time.

What PSA is great for:

  • Pharmaceuticals & Cosmetics – Drug and ingredients efficacy are known to be correlated to particle size and surface area as they affect the rate of absorption.
  • Chemical & Petrochemical – Particle size is an important parameter of product quality specification, stability and efficiency. 
  • Catalyst Characterization – Monitor catalyst degradation by size.
  • Food – Particle size affects characteristics of food products such as texture, appearance, and rheology.
  • Mining & construction material – identify presence of undesired particle agglomerates
Our technical team is happy to clarify on what technique will provide you with the best data.


Surface weighted particle size distribution of catalysts taken after different reactor time reveals degradation. Credit: Anton Paar


Anton Paar PSA 1190 LD

This industry-leading laser diffraction particle size analyzer covers a wide measuring range of 0.2 to 2500 microns, with multiple laser options. Unique, fully integrated liquid and dry dispersion modules allow for accurate particle size analysis in both fluid and solid samples. Additionally, the system has been fully automated with set internal alignments to ensure measurement reproducibility with < 1% variance.