Shimadzu Scientific Instruments' (Columbia, MD) IG-1000 particle size measurement system is based on the company's "induced grating" (IG) principle. It promises measurement of nanoparticles from one-half (0.5) to 200 nanometers with high sensitivity and reproducibility. The product won third place in Pittcon 2009's Editors' Choice awards competition, which invited all editors attending the show to vote on their choices for the three "most significant new product introductions."
Shimadzu explains that typical nanoparticle measurement methods use scattered light, which decreases sharply for particles smaller than 100 nm--thus, very small particles are very faint. The IG method eliminates this problem by using optical signals emitted by the diffraction grating formed by the particles. Even in the single nano region, satisfactory signal-to-noise ratio and stable measurements are possible.
Shimadzu's IG-1000 offers a simple three-step workflow to inject the sample, insert the electrode and begin analysis. It produces results in about 30 seconds, from measurement start to displayed results.
The IG method promises high reproducibility and precision. Comparison with raw data of diffracted light is possible, so users can perform rough validation of the measurement results easily. The IG method is also resistant to contamination. Even if the sample is mixed with small amounts of foreign particles, data is captured reliably without filtering.
In addition, users can evaluate mixed samples with the IG method because the signal size does not depend on particle size. This is not the case for other methods based on scattered light, which can make the evaluation of mixed samples difficult.
For more information about the IG-1000 and the induced grating method see Shimadzu's website.