Dynamic Light Scattering

Dynamic Light Scattering

Dynamic light scattering (DLS) provides a nondestructive, indirect measurement of the average size and size distribution of particles and colloids in solutions.

Particles suspended in a liquid are constantly undergoing random Brownian motion, and their size directly affects their speed: smaller particles move faster than larger ones. When a laser light source is applied to an aqueous sample of particles in solution, it scatters around them as it passes. The scattered light is detected and recorded at some pre-defined angles and the time-dependence of changes in the scattered intensity profiles can be correlated to the particles’ speed, and therefore to their average size and distribution throughout the system. Plots of the relative frequency of distinct particle sizes and speeds can then be generated for subsequent analysis.

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Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS)
$350 / Sample

Strengths
  • Fast, automated analysis = rapid results
  • Accepts low sample concentrations
  • Provides overall particle size distribution
  • Works well with a wide range of particle sizes
  • Nondestructive analysis
Limitations
  • Does not provide particle shape information
  • Irregular (e.g. platelet or cylindrical) particle shapes can be difficult to interpret
  • Particle precipitation impairs result accuracy
  • Big particles can mask smaller particles
Sample Requirements
  • Particle Diameter Range: 0.3 nm to 10 µm
  • Minimum Sample Volume: 100 µL for particle size analysis
  • Maximum Concentration: approximately 50% m/v (depends on sample)
Instruments Used for (DLS)
Anton Paar Litesizer 500

Anton Paar Litesizer 500

The Litesizer 500 from Anton Paar is the only DLS-based particle analyzer able to perform a straightforward measurement of the sample’s refractive index at the exact wavelength and temperature of a given measurement. This ensures its maximal accuracy for particle size and zeta potential analysis.

  • Particle Diameter Range: 0.3 nm to 10 µm

View the Instrument Spec Sheet

Example Outputs
<p>DLS distribution of trimodal polystyrene latex with particles of 22, 100, and 700 nm diameter, occurring in a ratio of 3:1:1, respectively.</p>

DLS distribution of trimodal polystyrene latex with particles of 22, 100, and 700 nm diameter, occurring in a ratio of 3:1:1, respectively.

Additional Resources

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