Brookhaven ZetaPALS Instruments Juggles Many Diverse Projects in Sheffield

The Department of Chemical and Process Engineering at Sheffield University is making full use of its new Brookhaven NanoBrook ZetaPALS instrument for a number of diverse projects based on polymer colloids. Dr Alex Routh, Lecturer and specialist in this area, described the range of applications for which the system is being used: “The Department is split into four research groups, working on combustion, process fluidics, biological engineering and particle products. The ZetaPALS is based in the particle products group but is used as the primary particle sizing and characterization equipment on any projects involving polymer colloids.”

“Some projects are in association with industrial collaborators, for example, a current study is looking at the stability of oil additives in non-aqueous media – the PALS capability of the instrument is essential for this project because of the very low surface charge of the particles. Other projects, such as an investigation into film formation, are funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). So far, this has involved looking at paints and varnishes, making 200 nm styrene butylacrylate copolymer particles and comparing their charge and stability. On the biological side, we are taking a fresh look at bacteria as colloids rather than living entities and asking why they aggregate as they do and what role different potentials, including electrostatics, play.”

Alex concluded: “We are very grateful for the maintenance and technical support we have had from Peter McFadyen. This has justified our choice of a Brookhaven instrument.”

Applications: DLSNanoParticlesZeta
Instruments: NanoBrook Series