Colloidal Silica

Identification of agglomerates and aggregates in colloidal silicic acid

Silica sol, also known as colloidal silicic acid, is a stable suspension of spherical silicon dioxide (SiO2) nanoparticles in a liquid, that are hydroxylated on the surface. Colloidal silicic acid is found in almost all industrial sectors. The applications range from surface treatment in the paper industry, to use as a polishing agent in the electronics industry and use as an additive for varnishes, coatings and paints to improve weather and abrasion resistance. It is also a common additive in cosmetics and in the food industry. The mean particle size and distribution width define the field of application of the SiO2 particles. Typical sizes range from 1 nm to 100 nm.

One challenge for the quality control of fine particles is the fast, reliable and reproducible measurement of particle size distributions. Using NANOPHOX it is possible to reliably and reproducibly measure the smallest silicic acid particles smaller than 10 nm and bimodal particle distributions, e.g. particle mixtures or primary particles with agglomerates, with a high resolution. The dynamic light scattering with photon cross-correlation spectroscopy (PCCS) and a manual NNLS evaluation mode provides a high resolution for reliable differentiation of various particle populations.

High resolution DLS measurement

  • Quick and stable measurement method for quality control
  • Reliable measurement of nanoparticles
  • Analysis of SiO2 particle mixtures
  • Evaluation of the aggregates
  • Display of the particle size distribution

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Application strengths

  • Resolution of bimodal particle distributions
  • Identification of agglomerates and aggregates
  • Quick and easy measurement of very fine particles < 10 nm with high statistical reliability
  • Studies of particle-particle interactions in highly concentrated silica sol suspensions

Customer benefits

  • Avoidance of defects thanks to the identification of aggregates and overly large nano particles
  • Improvement of production efficiency
  • Optimisation of quality control

Typical configuration



DLS | Nanoparticles
Size range: 0.5 nm - 10,000 nm
Analysis volume: 50 µl - 4 ml