LA-950 Laser Particle Size Analyzer

Overview

The Partica LA-950 Laser Diffraction Particle Size Distribution Analyzer is the highest performance particle sizing instrument on the market. It out performs every other particle size analyzer in every facet: measurement range, speed, precision, ease of use, and software features. A range of accessories allow the user to configure the system for maximum flexibility and performance, optimized for each application.

The result is a truly unparalleled particle size analyzer capable of measuring everything from nanoparticles to soils and sediments.

Features

The LA-950 provides a number of state-of-the-art features:

Cutting Edge Optical Design: HORIBA’s revolutionary optical design provides the widest dynamic range (0.01 - 3000 µm), highest signal-to-noise, fastest measurement time, and best nanoparticle performance of any laser diffraction instrument. The LA-950 is the only instrument capable of measuring 30 nanometers and 3 millimeters in the same instant for the same measurement. Only the world's most advanced optical design makes this possible.

Click on the Technology tab to learn more about the measurement principles which power the LA-950.

Unequaled Accuracy, Precision, and Reproducibility - Guaranteed:

  • Accuracy guaranteed to within 0.6%
  • Precision guaranteed to within 0.1%
  • Stability and reproducibility from unit to unit ensured with rigid optics and detector calibration

Software Features


The LA-950 is driven by powerful software that makes it easy to perform everything from the simplest to the most complex tasks. 

For manual measurements a single user-friendly screen provides all of the controls and visual information required to generate quick, precise results. The unique Method Expert can then provide a simple route for automating measurement steps, and also provide a structured approach to the complex task of creating new methods for unknown samples. At every step of the way the Method Expert provides Expert Advice - pro tips and background information - to assist and educate the user in result interpretation.

This is also the only software available that contains both ISO-13320 and USP<429> calculations and automated instrument verification. The user will also find Phi and Sieve scale tables for easy data comparison, R-parameter and Chi-square error calculations, a multi-modal function for reporting two and three peak distributions, Excel-readable measurement export (single file and batch mode), customizable report templates, and the Intensity Graph which displays the raw scattered light signal.

Fastest Sample-to-Sample Measurement Time - Less than 60 Seconds:

Automation built into the hardware and software ensures speed, reproducibility and ease of use. Complete sample analysis sequence is completed in 60 seconds, including automatic fill, automatic alignment, blank, measurement, and automatic rinse cycles. The LA-950 is easy enough to use to make technicians happy and is fast and reliable enough to save money and make managers happy. 

Watch the video to see it for yourself!

Powerful Sample Handlers: The LA-950 was designed with the goal of measuring every possible application. To accomplish this goal several sample handling systems are available to best solve the user's application challenges. 

Click on the Accessories tab to discover state-of-the-art sample handlers like the PowderJet and MiniFlow.

Fastest Sampling System Change: The unique measurement cell system allows up to three sample dispersion systems to be mounted simultaneously on a cell tray. Changing between sampling systems only requires the tray to be moved from one position to another, in as little as ten seconds, without removing or replacing any hardware or requiring any tools.


Manufactured by HORIBA

Specifications

Range

  • 0.01 to 3,000 microns
  • Widest wet dynamic range on the market of 300,000 to 1
  • Small particle sensitivity: Can accurately measure 30 nanometer diameter particles

Accuracy

  • +/- 0.6% of standard tolerance on these NIST-traceable polystyrene latex standards: 100 nm, 500 nm, 1.020 um, 12.01 um, 102 um & 1004 um
  • Meets or exceeds all requirements of ISO 13320 and USP<429>

Precision

Speed

  • Fastest measurement on the market
  • Fill, auto-alignment, blank, measurement, and rinse in less than 60 seconds Watch the video!
  • 5,000 scans per second

Theory

  • Mie Scattering for all size ranges supersedes Fraunhofer-only measurements
  • Single, advanced measurement principle used for every size range eliminates data integration error

Light Sources

  • Super long-life solid-state light sources
  • 5 mW 650 nanometer red laser diode
  • 3 mW 405 nanometer blue light emitting diode (LED)

Detectors

  • 87 detector high-resolution silicon photodiode array
  • 75 detectors for forward/low-angle light scattering
  • 12 detectors for high-angle and backscatter light scattering

Sample Handlers

  • AquaFlow Aqueous Flow System
  • SolvoFlow Solvent Resistant Flow System
  • PowderJet Dry Powder Feeder
  • MiniFlow Full-featured Miniature Solvent Resistant Flow System
  • FractionCell Ultra-small Volume Solvent Resistant Cuvette
  • PasteCell High Viscosity Solvent Resistant System
  • Switch between all sampling systems in less than 60 seconds
  • Fastest and easiest switchover on the market

Ease of Use

  • AquaFlow, SolvoFlow, and MiniFlow feature built-in automatic fill pump
  • AquaFlow, SolvoFlow, and MiniFlow feature one-button automatic rinse
  • AquaFlow, SolvoFlow, and MiniFlow feature in-line powerful ultrasonic probe
  • PowderJet features feedback loop to maintain even sample delivery
  • Method Expert module automates the creation of optimized methods
  • Automatic calculation of ISO13320 and USP<429> performance metrics

Power Supply

  • 120 V AC +/- 10% or 230 V AC +/- 10%
  • 50/60 Hz +/- 1%

Physical Dimensions

  • 27.6 in. (701 mm) X 20.3 in. (516 mm) compact optical bench with integrated sampling systems

Mass

  • 56 kg (123 lb)

Measurement Techniques

The LA-950 combines the most popular modern sizing technique with state of the art refinements to measure wet and dry samples measuring 10 nanometers to 3 millimeters. The central idea in laser diffraction is that a particle will scatter light at an angle determined by that particle’s size. Larger particles will scatter at small angles and smaller particles scatter at wide angles. A collection of particles will produce a pattern of scattered light defined by intensity and angle that can be transformed into a particle size distribution result.

Visit the Laser Diffraction Technology section.

The LA-950 laser diffraction instrument consists of two light sources (1 & 2), a sample handling system to control the interaction of particles and incident light, and an array of high quality photodiodes (3 & 4) to detect the scattered light over a wide range of angles- as shown below. The scattered light collected on the detectors is used to calculate the particle size distribution of the sample analyzed using Mie Theory (a Fraunhofer model is also built into the software if required, but is not typically recommended).

scattered light

Two different wavelength light sources are required in order to extend the lower detection limit of the technique. The diagrams below show the 360° light scattering patterns from 50 nm (red line) and 70 nm (orange line) particles as generated using the 650 nm red laser (left) and 405 nm blue LED (right) in the LA-950.

650 nm red laser 405 nm blue LED

The patterns are practically identical across all angles at 650 nm and the algorithm will not be able to accurately calculate the different particle sizes. But at 405 nm distinct differences are now seen on wide angle detectors which allows for accurate calculation of these size particles. The blue LED, optical configuration, and advanced electronics combine to make the LA-950 the highest sensitivity instrument on the market, capable of accurately measuring reference materials down to 30 nm.

capable of accurately measuring reference materials down to 30 nm.

Samplers are used to present the sample to the light sources under controlled conditions. An array of liquid samplers are available with different sample volumes to transport the sample and often utilize ultrasound as an energy source to break up agglomerates.  Dry powder feeders use compressed air as both a dispersive energy and driving force to transport the powder through the optics. A complete laser diffraction system must include one sampler, and often includes several in order to match the sample presentation to the application requirements. The diagram below shows a schematic of the default liquid sampler built into the LA-950.

default liquid sampler built into the LA-950.

The last component of the LA-950 diffraction system is the software which converts light scattering to particle size and controls the instrument. A single display screen provides the operator with all controls required to perform quick, simple manual measurements. Advanced software features including the unique Method Expert Wizards provide automation and advice to aid novice users to become adept at creating robust, reproducible methods that can be easily transferred to additional users and locations.

Applications

The LA-950 is being used in dozens of applications for research, quality control, and production. Find your application for this technology in the Applications Center.

Brochures

LA-950 - State of the Art Particle Size Distribution Analyzer

HORIBA Particle Characterization Lineup

Downloads

Why HORIBA Particle Characterization?

The Method Expert - Guided, Automated Method Development (registration required)

Optimization of Dry Powder Particle Size Analysis (registration required)

The HORIBA Guidebook to Particle Size Analysis

LA-950 Result Interpretation Quick Reference

Browse through our extensive collection of Technical Notes, recorded Webinars, and much more in the Download Center.

Resources

LA-950 Performance - Comparison - Can Your Analyzer Do This?

LA-950 Performance - Precision - ANOVA Gauge R&R Study

LA-950 Performance - Precision 2.0 - A 40-unit Reproducibility Study

LA-950 Performance - Accuracy - Measuring Mixed Standards

Discover the cutting edge research accomplished with the LA-950 in the Bibliography.

Accessories

The LA-950 was designed with the goal of measuring every possible application. To accomplish this goal several sample handling systems are available to best solve the user's application challenges.

PowderJet Dry Feeder

PowderJet Dry Feeder

Visit the LA-950 PowderJet page to learn more about this accessory.

For powdered materials, the PowderJet Dry Feeder system provides a simple, yet effective, method for analyzing both free-flowing and cohesive dry powders. Automatic control of sample feed rate provides optimum dispersion, stability and ease of use. The adjustable power dispersion nozzle allows for measurements of all sample types from friable crystals to highly cohesive agglomerates. 

Why is the PowderJet the most advanced dry powder solution on the market?

  • Automatic feedback constantly adjusts sample delivery to maintain an even powder flow into the measurement zone
  • Patented sample preparation mechanisms control difficult samples to enhance measurement accuracy and precision
  • 40 levels of powerful 360° compressed air dispersion suitable for the most fragile and the most cohesive particles
  • Vertical design eliminates the cross-contamination that is unavoidable with horizontal designs
  • Installed on the top of the LA-950 to conserve precious bench space in your lab
  • Nearly maintenance free design eliminates the need for tools or complex cleaning procedures

These breakthrough advancements allow the PowderJet the highest level of precision, speed, and ease of use available on the market.

For more information, visit the Download Center to watch Webinar TE016 about Optimizing Dry Powder Measurements and read Application Note 154 about Dry Method Development (registration required).

 

MiniFlow 

MiniFlowMiniFlow

The MiniFlow is a fully-featured version of the SolvoFlow circulation system except that it has been miniaturized. By doing this the sample amount and dispersant volume are minimized and precious materials can be conserved. The MiniFlow features a variable 35 to 55 mL volume requirement, resistance to organic solvents, a built-in ultrasonic probe for dispersing highly agglomerated materials, automatic fill pump with level sensors, and automatic rinse system. The hands-free design eliminates frustration and safety hazards found with syringe-based systems prone to spills. 

The MiniFlow is ideal for measuring very precious samples, samples that are toxic or hazardous, where the waste volume should be minimized, for pharmaceutical or food applications requiring organic solvent dispersants, or oil dispersions for pigments, polymers and resin products.

For more information, visit the Download Center and read Application Note 176 about Minimizing Sample Quantity with the MiniFlow (registration required).

 

FractionCell

FractionCell

The cuvette-style Fraction Cell allows liquid volumes as small as 10 mL to be measured, making it perfect for measuring very valuable, extremely small quantity, or hazardous samples.

 

PasteCell

PasteCell

The unique PasteCell is designed to handle samples with high viscosity or magnetism. The principle involves placing the sample between two measurement plates and pressing those plates together to "disperse" the sample evenly through the measurement zone. The PasteCell can solve application challenges too difficult for conventional sample handlers!

 

SlurrySampler

SlurrySampler

The SlurrySampler is a robotic sampling system that is fully integrated into the LA-950 control software. Capable of supporting 15, 30, or 60 individual samples with mechanical and magnetic mixing options, the SlurrySampler automates routine sample analysis.

When prompted by the software, the robotic arm moves to the correct position, mixes the sample, withdraws an aliquot, adds the aliquot to the sampling chamber, and then rinses itself to prevent contamination. Suspensions and emulsions can be measured using the SlurrySampler. An additional metering pump may be added to provide surfactant, pH, or salinity modification before sample addition. 


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Method Expert

The LA-950 Method Expert is a breakthrough in user friendly method development

The LA-950 Method Expert is a breakthrough in user friendly method development. No other particle size software provides this level of guidance and knowledge to the user. It's like having a HORIBA engineer living in your computer!

Download the White Paper. (registration required)