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PA Field ESA



PA Field ESA

Real-time Zeta Potential Analyser

PA Field ESA delivers revolutionary zeta potential analysing power for dispersions with a wide concentration range, from 0.01 weight % to 99.0 volume %. All kinds of dispersions, emulsions, pastes or semisolids with particle sizes ranging from below 1 nm to 100 μm can be analysed by PA Field ESA with ease.

PA Field ESA employs the Electrokinetic Sonic Amplitude (ESA) technology that allows stirring, titration and addition of other constituents during measurement. None of the above is possible with classical electrophoresis or DSL (dynamic light scattering) method because these actions inflict directed motion, change the refractive index or cause sample turbidity. As this method won't be interfered by stirring and are neither invasive or destructive, PA Field ESA is also applicable to dip-in and on-line measurements. Not only can concentrated, coloured, turbid, viscous or crème-like samples be directly studied, but abrasive, sticky or hot materials are also easily measurable.

This compact and portable device is able to:

  1. measure zeta potential in real time and record conductivity, temperature and pH at the same time;
  2. configure and perform time-series or goal-step measurements;
  3. automatically determine iso electric point (IEP) or optimise additive concentration using preset procedures.


Zeta Potential Analysis
by Electrokinetic Sonic Amplitude

  • Direct real-time measurement.
  • Wide ranges of concentration & particle size.
  • Wide fields of applications - tiny samples, flow-through, batch, R&D, QA/QC.
  • Automated programmable procedures for IEP, titration & addition optimisation.
  • Non-invasive, non-destructive, unaffected by vibration or impurity.
  • Sedimentation & agglomeration prevented by stirring or flowing.
  • Modular and readily integrated to PA's other devices.
  • Can be integrated into user's process.

Partikel Analytik (PA) is the expert in the field of material sciences who has been devoted to the research on the characterisation of liquid dispersions for two decades. This German brand has gained a good reputation among their users in a dozen of countries in the world.

Visit Partikel Analytik.



Academic Research:

  • Physics, Chemistry and Physical Chemistry
  • Food and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Material Sciences
  • Environmental, Civil, Mechanical and Ceramic Engineering

Industrial R&D, QA and QC:

  • Adhesion
  • Absorption Process
  • Catalysts
  • Ceramics
  • Chromatography
  • Emulsion Polymerisation
  • Food Processing
  • Fouling in Heat Exchangers
  • Grinding
  • Ion Exchange
  • Lubrication
  • Membrane Phenomenon
  • Oil Recovery
  • Oil Well Drilling Mud
  • Ore Flotation
  • Powder Metallurgy
  • Precipitation
  • Separation Processes
  • Soil Conditioning / Mechanics
  • Sugar Refining
  • Transport of Colloids
  • Waste Water Treatment

Uses of Surface Potential

  • Develop filter paper or membranes to remove charged materials like bacteria
  • Control the flow in micro-fluid canals
  • Adjust adhesion and friction of surfaces
  • Modify contact lenses or bio-implants for better bio compatibility
  • Modify optical, electrical, mechanical or anti-corrosion properties of surfaces
  • Functionalise surfaces with the help of charged polymers, to name but a few ...


Why Is Surface Potential Important?

Surfaces immersed in liquids are surrounded by ions, and therefore have, like dispersed particles or molecules, a zeta potential. This effective charge of the surface attracts or repels particles from the liquid depending on the respective charges. A suspension may become a single large aggregate if there is no repulsion between the colloidal particles. They collide with each other many millions of times per seconds and will stick together due to van der Waals attraction. The state of agglomeration or dispersion determines how the colloidal systems will work most of the time. Controlling the Zeta potential is important to control the state of agglomeration (or dispersion).

However, for modern recipes often featuring complex chemical composition, the classical trial-error approach that requires repetitive dilution can be very costly and ineffective. Being able to know the Zeta Potential in real time also allows us to modify the recipes and evaluate their influence in real time. PA's ESA technology applies alternating current to force the charged particles to move and measures the ESA generated by the oscillation. The Zeta Potential is then obtained, as it is proportional to the dynamic mobility, which is also proportional to the ESA. This method is not destructive, not invasive, and not affected by stirring, noise or vibration, and therefore enables real-time direct measurement for colloidal systems, even in process.


Concentration Series Measurement

In the example below, a programmed measurement takes place each time 10 μl of additive was added. The negative peak of the Zeta potential was reached after 0.16 ml of addition, where the conductivity also reached its negative peak. Temperature and pH remain stable throughout the addition.

Concentration Series Measurement.


Why Is Iso-Electric Point Important?

When the above mentioned surface potential is zero, it is so-called the isoelectric point (IEP). Such characteristic is important in many applications. For example, we know already the IEP of various pure oxides. We can then verify the cleanliness of oxide surfaces in question or control the quality of the coating layers.

Potentiometric Titration.

In the example above, we performed programmed pH titrations for 3 lots of Al2O3 dispersions and acquired their Zeta-pH curves. These curves tell us their stability as well as their IEP. The steep curve of Lot 1 demonstrates excellent stability, due to the fact that it can reach a surface potential of 80 mV with ease. However, the gradual slope of Lot 3 shows the tendency to flocculate, as neither acid or base could bring its Zeta potential to higher than 20 mV. Such information is crucial for in-process control.


More Applications

Monitoring Particle Synthesis

The below shows the application in the bottom-up processing in the R & D phase of nucleation and Ostwald ripening. The crystal growth of alumina precursor nanoparticles that are used as model compound was tracked. Zeta potential as well as particle size changes were measured continuously during controlled hydrolysis of Al-sec-butoxide in isopropanol. The Zeta potential shows minima and maxima with increasing water amount, whereas the particle size increases significantly after a defined time of operation.

Monitoring Particle Synthesis



This is one of the common configurations that allows single-point and time-resolved measurements as well as automated, programmable additive and potentiometric titrations. From left to right, (1) Portable PA Field ESA, (2) Stirrer Controller, (3) Measuring Cell with Stirrer and ESA Probe, (4) PA Fluid Station for Titration and (5) Computer and Software Interface.

It can also be configured with ease for (i) flow-through or on-line applications, (ii) non-aqueous systems (very low signal systems such as organic oil and other non-polar solvents), (iii) field inspection (with the battery pack), (iv) other solution oriented tasks.



Integration & Customisation

PA Field ESA can be seamlessly integrated with PA Fast Sizer, PA Fluid Station, PA Rhometer, which constitutes a comprehensive Dispersion Analysis system. The information of particle size required for the measurement of Zeta potential can be acquired automatically through the integrated PA Fast Sizer. Isoelectric point can be measured through the integration with PA Fluid Station, with which pH titration and addition optimisation can also be carried out following programmable procedures. While the required parameters are passed spontaneously from one device to another through the Smart Sensors employed in every PA modular devices, neither manual input or communication via computer's processors is not necessary.

PA Dispersion Analysis Integration
Dispersion Analysis Turnkey Solution

Partikel Analytik's workshop follows the philosophy of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and is able to tailor the system to solve your specific problems, from the applications required by laboratories to factories, from an integrated in-line implementation to a simple dip-in sampler, from the purpose of processing to that of education. Partikel Analytik's workshop configures and implements the optimal turnkey solution into your hardware and software environment.




Measuring Capabilities
  Zeta Potential -300 ~ +300 mV
  ESA 0 ~ 30 mPa*m/V
  Frequency 200 kHz ~ 1.5 MHz
  pH 2 ~ 14
  Conductivity 0 μS/m ~ 5 S/m
  Temperature 5 ~ 60 °C (Optional High Temperature Probe: 5 ~ 90 °C)
  Data Acquisition Time
      Multiple Frequency:
      Kinetic option
      Autonomous mode:

 7 s
60 s
 4 s
10 s

  Particle Size Evaluation 100 nm ~ 2 μm (Standalone feature, multiple frequencies)
  * Depends on the nature of the material and the density difference between the particles and solvent.
Sample Requirements
  Particle Concentration* Min: 0.001 % v/v
Max: 74 % v/v (monodispersed)
        ~ 99 % v/v (polydispersed)
  Particle Size* 1 nm ~ 100 μm
  Volume > 1 ml
  Density Difference > 0.2 g/cm3 (between the particles and the solvent)
  Sample Type Dispersions, emulsions, pastes, semisolids
  Solvent Aqueous and non-aqueous solvents
  * Depends on the nature of the material and the density difference between the particles and solvent.
Measurement Modes
  Single Measurement Quick overview of sample characteristics.
  Time Series

Multiple measurements at a predefined time interval.

  Potentiometric Titration PA Fluid Station required.
Automatic measurement and titration step by step until all goals are accomplished.
  Additive Titration

PA Fluid Station required.
Automatic measurement and titration step by step until all goals are accomplished.

  Stopped-Flow Reaction

PA Fluid Station & Kinetic Option required.
Mix up 4 constituents and run the fastest time series measurement.

  Autonomous Mode

Battery Pack & Dip-in Sensor required.
Working time: 2-day continuous operation. Data Size: 22,000 sets.

Sample Cells & Applicable Features
  Micro Cell : 1 ml Steel

Zeta Potential, ESA, Batch, Flow-through

  Small Cell : 5 ml Polymer/Steel Zeta Potential, Flow-through
  Standard Cell : 50/70 ml POM/Steel Zeta Potential, ESA, Temperature & Conductivity (integrated sensor)
pH, IEP, Additive Titration. Batch and Flow-through
  Large Cell : 250 ml Teflon/POM Zeta Potential, ESA, Temperature & Conductivity (external sensor)
pH, IEP, Additive Titration. Batch
  User Defined Upon Request

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