Malvern Panalytical, Eindhoven, the Netherlands, has launched its new Morphologi® range of automated static imaging systems for particle characterisation. The Morphologi 4 and Morphologi 4 ID are said to offer tools for the rapid, automated component-specific measurement of particle size, shape and chemical composition. According to Malvern, the new range offers substantial improvements to measurement speed, image definition and material range compared to previous iterations.
The tools are targeted at analytical environments where a deeper understanding of a process and/or sample is required, such as during the development and processing of metal powders, pharmaceuticals and battery materials. The Morphologi 4 is suitable for the characterisation of particles ranging in size from less than one micron up to a millimetre and higher. Compared to its predecessor, it is said to offer measurement time savings of around 25%, while delivering simpler, more intuitive method development and greater particle definition.
A key feature of the new tool, states Malvern, is its automated segmentation/thresholding algorithm, titled Sharp Edge. This is said to make it easier to detect and define particles, by using an 18 MP camera for boosted sensitivity and by enclosure of the sample during imaging. These developments are said to make it possible to accurately measure light-sensitive and low-contrast samples and deliver enhanced shape parameter sensitivity for all types of sample.
The Morphologi 4-ID makes available Morphologically-Directed Raman Spectroscopy (MDRS®), integrating the static imaging capabilities of the Morphologi 4 with Raman spectroscopy. Offering significantly faster spectral acquisition times than the previous model – a reported time reduction of up to 80% – it also allows acquisition conditions to be customised to the sample. This enhanced control, combined with an extended spectral range, is said to maximise the range of materials that can be identified and/or differentiated within a mixture. The instrument is fully automated and has been designed to allow both particle characterisation scientists with limited spectroscopy experience and more experienced spectroscopists to gain an in-depth understanding of their particulate samples.
“In many industrial applications, a specification based on size alone is no longer adequate,” stated Cathryn Langley, Associate Product Manager for Analytical Imaging at Malvern Panalytical. “The flow and packing properties of metal powders and electrode materials, for example, are governed by particle shape, as well as size. This means that both parameters must be controlled to optimise performance, such as the properties of a finished injection moulded component, or the power and discharge characteristics of a battery. The new Morphologi systems make it quicker and easier to access accurate and component-specific particle size and shape data to develop a deeper understanding of such products, and of how to optimise and control their routine manufacture.”