ParticleFinder offers a user friendly tool for automated location, characterization and Raman analysis of particles. Hundreds or thousands of particles can be quickly located on a video image, analyzed for size and shape descriptors, and then chemically characterized using Raman spectroscopy.
ParticleFinder is compatible with any HORIBA Raman spectrometer equipped with LabSpec 6 software, a video camera and motorized XY sample stage. With these requirements met, ParticleFinder’s Raman analysis can fully exploit the unique capabilities of HORIBA’s Raman systems to ensure the most appropriate chemical interrogation. This can range from routine identification of common particles and contaminants, through to advanced characterization of polymorphism/phase, photoluminescence and stress/strain.
Screen shots from LabSpec 6 showing located particles captured white light optical image together with statistical table and spectra acquisition
The work flow for ParticleFinder is extremely simple and intuitive. The module is an integrated part of the powerful LabSpec 6 software, and is fully linked to related modules for data acquisition, processing, analysis and display.
1. Particle location
Simple processing of the sample optical image quickly locates the particles, creating a binary image which clear highlights the particle positions. Full morphological filtering tools are included to ensure truly meaningful location. The optical image can cover any user specified area, using the integrated video montage/mosaic tool, allowing millimeter or centimeter areas to be covered.
2. Statistical analysis
Once the particles are located, particle shape and size parameters are calculated for each particle, including a statistical summary. Histograms of the parameters (including area, perimeter, axes, ellipse ratio, circularity and brightness) are available for easy visualization.
3. Particle selection
Initially, all located particles are set for Raman analysis. However, they can be filtered according to the statistics results, allowing only particles which correspond to a specific size/shape to be analyzed. For example, only particles within a certain size range can be marked for Raman characterization.
4. Raman acquisition
The full capabilities of the Raman instrument can be utilized for the Raman acquisition stage, including choice of laser wavelength, spectral resolution, confocality and mapping. Such configurable experiments ensure that optimized results can be obtained from varying sample sets with ease. The Raman spectra are displayed in a table together with the statistical parameters.
5. Data analysis
Once the Raman data has been acquired, it is automatically linked to the individual particles in the binary image. The spectra are now available to be processed, analyzed and displayed according to the full powerful functionality of LabSpec 6.
Spectra can be exported to the HORIBA Edition KnowItAll® database searching tool for advanced spectrum matching to known materials.
Alternatively, the fully integrated Multivariate Analysis module can be used for automatic clustering and decomposition of the spectra. The result of the multivariate analysis is displayed in the statistical table and also directly on the video image of your sample where each color will correspond to a different component.
The ParticleFinder module for Raman spectrometers is one part of HORIBA’s expertise in particle analysis. HORIBA offers powerful, hassle-free tools for particle size, particle shape, zeta potential, and surface area analysis. Measurable particle size range is from below 1 nanometer to 30 millimeters, at concentrations ranging from 1 ppm to 50 vol% with shape determination available starting at 1 micrometer. A range of technologies are employed including laser diffraction, dynamic light scattering, and dynamic and static image analysis.
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