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Press review: Quantifying the Long-Term Stability of Food Formulations published in food Marketing & Technology
Quantifying the Long-Term Stability of Food Formulations
Foodstuffs are often mixtures of different ingredients and are therefore liable to separate. It is important to quantify these separation processes to optimise food product formulations. The MultiScan MS 20 dispersion stability analysis system, developed by DataPhysics Instruments, can reliably and efficiently analyse food dispersions regarding their destabilisation and aging. The following use case evaluates five milk substitutes and compares the occurring destabilisation mechanisms.
Many food products, such as milk products and mayonnaise, are complex multicomponent mixtures. In their production, a homogeneous composition with good flavour, texture, and nutritional value is desired. Separation processes in these mixtures can strongly influence their taste and mouthfeel. Assuring longterm homogeneity and thus a long shelf life for such products requires thorough optimisation during the formulation of the mixtures.
The type and concentration of the formulation’s ingredients, its processing temperature, рН, and viscosity are crucial parameters determining its separation behaviour. Therefore, understanding the stability of food dispersions is important for research and development departments in the food industry. […]
This article was published in the trade magazine food Marketing & Technology, 5/22, pages 6-9. © Dr. Harnisch Verlag.
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Press release: Milestones of the Swabian measuring instrument manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments
Filderstadt, 22 November 2022. Since August 1997, DataPhysics Instruments has been developing, manufacturing, and distributing laboratory measuring devices for the characterisation of interfaces and surfaces. From the beginning, the focus has been on the development of innovative and modular measuring instruments as well as user-friendly software. This product philosophy will remain at the core of the company.
The laboratory measuring device manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments turns 25. Nils Langer, managing director, says: This birthday is an important milestone for DataPhysics Instruments, especially after the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Over the past 25 years, we have expanded our product portfolio steadily. In our anniversary year 2022, we have customers in over 80 countries and 45 employees. We are very well established in the worldwide market for measuring devices that characterise interfaces and surfaces. Now, it is our task to continue the company's successful path.
This birthday is an important milestone for DataPhysics Instruments, especially after the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Over the past 25 years, we have expanded our product portfolio steadily. In our anniversary year 2022, we have customers in over 80 countries and 45 employees. We are very well established in the worldwide market for measuring devices that characterise interfaces and surfaces. Now, it is our task to continue the company's successful path.
The DataPhysics Instruments team has grown from seven to over 45 employees in the last 25 years.
Modular design as founding principle
DataPhysics Instruments was founded in August 1997 by Dr Ulrich Busch, Thorsten Holz, and Horst Rau. From the beginning, the company's laboratory measuring devices were modular in design. This enabled customers to configure their measuring devices according to their specific use cases. They were also able to analyse their data immediately after the measurement using the device’s software. At the time, such a modular configuration was unheard of. To this day, the company has remained true to their commitment for a modular design.
With their measuring systems for the investigation of interfaces and surfaces, the three company founders had the finger on the pulse: in the 1990s, materials research made big strides. Examples include composites based on carbon fibres, but also other multicomponent materials for use in the construction and automotive industry, medical technology, as well as in electrical engineering. With the focus on new materials, the properties of their surfaces became crucial. The buzzword at the time was functionalised surfaces, i.e., surfaces optimised for their intended use with the help of surface structuring or various pre-treatments.
The product portfolio grows
The company's first product was the OCA 20 optical contact angle meter together with the SCA analysis software, which were both developed in-house. Together, they could conduct contour measurements of pendant and sessile drops. In addition, the software could automatically evaluate the obtained data to calculate contact angle, surface tension, and surface energy. Founder and Managing Director Horst Rau recounts: The first year and a half we concentrated on product development in order to be able to present our first, market-ready contact angle meter. At the Analytica trade fair in 1998, DataPhysics Instruments successfully presented its contact angle meter for the first time. Over the years, the company continued to expand its OCA series, so that suitable solutions for many applications are now available, from an entry-level to an expert model.
The first year and a half we concentrated on product development in order to be able to present our first, market-ready contact angle meter.
Just in time for the turn of the millennium, DataPhysics Instruments expanded its product portfolio with the force-based tensiometers of the DCAT series and a newly developed software for the series. Through the years, the DCAT series has grown to contain different models, as well.
In 2002, a third device joined the product portfolio: the SVT 20 spinning drop tensiometer, which can measure ultra-low interfacial tensions. Ten years later, DataPhysics Instruments launched the humidity generators of the HGC series. They can be used to set and control the relative humidity within small and medium-sized measurement chambers. Since 2015, the MultiScan MS 20 stability analysis system has also been part of the product portfolio. It is used for the optical stability and ageing analysis of disperse multiphase mixtures.
The managing directors of DataPhysics Instruments (from left to right): Horst Rau, Nils Langer, Dr Sebastian Schaubach and Jens Ole Wund.
Developing tomorrow's products today
Today, DataPhysics Instruments is run by four shareholders: founder Horst Rau, Nils Langer, Jens Ole Wund and Dr Sebastian Schaubach. The interest in functionalised surfaces has only grown in importance over the past decades, as Managing Director and Sales Manager Nils Langer explains: Today, research institutions and companies are developing more and more methods to functionalise surfaces. Plasma treatments and nanostructured surfaces are just two examples. It is therefore all the more important to provide researchers and product developers with measurement technology they can use to analyse the changed functional properties of such surfaces.
Today, research institutions and companies are developing more and more methods to functionalise surfaces. Plasma treatments and nanostructured surfaces are just two examples. It is therefore all the more important to provide researchers and product developers with measurement technology they can use to analyse the changed functional properties of such surfaces.
For this reason, DataPhysics Instruments is focusing on the further upgrade of the existing devices as well as new developments. For the optical contact angle meters of the OCA series, the company introduced the new dpiMAX software at the beginning of 2022. The dpiMAX has a clearly structured, intuitive user interface and intelligent functions, which make the devices even easier to operate.
We achieved another major success with the market launch of the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer with its patented measurement method, adds Managing Director and Head of Development Jens Ole Wund. The ZPA 20 can determine the surface charge, or more precisely, the zeta potential of samples in aqueous solution by measuring the streaming current or streaming potential. To do this, it uses a patented measuring method, for which the solution is flowing over the sample alternately from opposite directions.
We achieved another major success with the market launch of the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer with its patented measurement method,
Shaping the future together
Dr Sebastian Schaubach, Managing Director and responsible for innovation management, has a clear vision for the future: We see ourselves as a partner who wants to refine the scientific analysis of interfaces and surfaces continually. In the future, our developments will therefore be conducted in even closer cooperation with our customers, because it is important to us that our devices can reliably solve our customers’ challenges.
We see ourselves as a partner who wants to refine the scientific analysis of interfaces and surfaces continually. In the future, our developments will therefore be conducted in even closer cooperation with our customers, because it is important to us that our devices can reliably solve our customers’ challenges.
But it is not only the product portfolio that has grown steadily over the years. In its anniversary year, 45 employees work at DataPhysics Instruments. Further employees are being sought for the development, manufacturing, and sales department. In addition, the premises at the headquarters in Filderstadt near Stuttgart have steadily expanded. Recently, the in-house Application Centre, with laboratory and training spaces, grew and was newly equipped. Dr Schaubach explains: There, we offer test measurements for prospective buyers and contract measurements with all our devices. In addition, we conduct training courses for device operators.
There, we offer test measurements for prospective buyers and contract measurements with all our devices. In addition, we conduct training courses for device operators.
The company has always remained true to its location – and yet is at home all over the world. An international network of sales partners ensures that customers all over the world can receive advice locally and in their preferred language. To be better represented in some target markets, DataPhysics Instruments founded its own companies in several countries: DataPhysics Instruments India was founded in 2020. In addition, the US subsidiary DataPhysics Instruments USA has existed since 2018.
Over the past 25 years, DataPhysics Instruments has developed an ever-expanding range of instruments for the analysis of interfaces and surfaces. At the same time, the company has grown in terms of personnel and space. For years, it has maintained a close relationship not only with sales partners around the world, but also with its customers in research and product development. These relationships have helped to develop market-driven products and to optimise the existing portfolio according to customer requirements. DataPhysics Instruments looks forward to expanding and deepening these relationships in the future.
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Press release: Zeta Potential Analyzer validated by Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research e.V. Dresden
Filderstadt, 28 October 2022. The Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research in Dresden has successfully validated the measurement results of DataPhysics Instruments’ ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer. The long-standing cooperation between the measuring instrument manufacturer and the institute has ensured that the measuring system meets the highest quality requirements. The bidirectional, oscillating measurement method used by the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer is patented and allows high-quality data sets in shortest measurement times.
The zeta potential is a measurable quantity that characterises the charge situation at a solid surface in solution. It is measured at the boundary between the ion layer firmly adsorbed on the solid surface and the solution. Dr. Astrid Drechsler, a scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden e.V. (IPF), and an expert in the characterisation of polymer interfaces, explains why the zeta potential is an important parameter, When a solid surface is submerged in an aqueous solution, it becomes electrically charged due to dissociable surface groups and adsorption of ions and molecules. The zeta potential provides information about these chemical functionalities and charge formation processes. Thus, it can be used to, for example, predict interactions such as adhesion between different surfaces. Zeta potential measurements are important in a broad range of applications, such as the investigation of fuel cell membranes, fouling processes of filter membranes, bacterial growth on food packaging, and washing of textiles.
When a solid surface is submerged in an aqueous solution, it becomes electrically charged due to dissociable surface groups and adsorption of ions and molecules. The zeta potential provides information about these chemical functionalities and charge formation processes. Thus, it can be used to, for example, predict interactions such as adhesion between different surfaces.
Depending on the size and shape of the samples, the zeta potential can be determined using different measurement techniques. For small particles in the nanometre to low micrometre range, electrophoretic methods are often used. For larger samples in the millimetre and centimetre range, the analysis of the streaming potential or the streaming current has proven to be advantageous. The new ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer from DataPhysics Instruments uses a patented method based on the streaming potential and streaming current analysis. It is therefore particularly suitable for the investigation of samples in the macroscopic range. The device can be equipped with the MC-ZPA/S, a measuring cell for solid materials such as plates, membranes, or foils, and the MC-ZPA/PF, a measuring cell for fibres, powders and granulates. Customers who are unsure whether the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer is the right device for them can not only rely on the in-depth knowledge of the DataPhysics Instruments’ sales team, but also request trial measurements with their samples. Dr. Sebastian Schaubach, Chief Innovation Officer at DataPhysics Instruments, says, Our laboratory offers contract measurements for all possible applications, with the ZPA 20 as well as all other devices of our portfolio.
Our laboratory offers contract measurements for all possible applications, with the ZPA 20 as well as all other devices of our portfolio.
The ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer uses the patented method of bidirectional, oscillatory streaming potential and streaming current analysis.
Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Validates Results
The ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer had to meet the highest quality standards from the beginning. Thus, the manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments cooperated with a partner of worldwide renown: the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden e.V. (IPF). As an IPF scientist, Dr. Astrid Drechsler has been dealing with the physical chemistry of polymer surfaces, which includes zeta potential measurements.
Since 2017, Drechsler and her team have accompanied the development of the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer through several project phases. In the first phase, we validated data measured with the prototype of the zeta potential analyzer, says Drechsler. A second project phase enabled further improvements of not only the device but also its measuring cells. The focus was simplifying the handling of the measuring cells and achieving reproducible sample preparation, explains Anja Caspari, a chemical laboratory technician at the IPF.
In the first phase, we validated data measured with the prototype of the zeta potential analyzer,
The focus was simplifying the handling of the measuring cells and achieving reproducible sample preparation,
Patented Measuring Method Enables Accurate and Rapid Results
The streaming potential analysis for investigating the zeta potential works as follows: An electrolyte solution is pumped through a measuring cell containing the sample material. Specifically, it is pumped between two flat solid samples or through the gaps in fibre or powder packages. The flow of the electrolyte solution separates ions near the surface and carries them with it. This results in a difference in potential between the electrodes situated at both sides of the sample. Electrodes measure these differences, depending on the experiment, as streaming current, or streaming potential. These values, together with the pressure difference in front of and behind the measuring cell, allow the calculation of the zeta potential.
The ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer uses a patented measuring method to achieve rapid results with high accuracy. Schaubach explains, The ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer is the only measuring device on the market today measuring the streaming potential or streaming current in a bidirectional and oscillating fashion. The electrolyte solution is pumped over or through the sample not only in one direction but alternately in opposite directions. Additionally, the flow rate of the electrolyte liquid changes within every repeated cycle, resulting in pressure changes. The device records up to 100 pressure values together with the corresponding streaming potential or streaming current in one second. Thus, results with excellent statistical quality are generated within a short time frame. The software can easily process large amounts of data and evaluate them automatically.
The ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer is the only measuring device on the market today measuring the streaming potential or streaming current in a bidirectional and oscillating fashion.
The patented measuring method of the ZPA 20 Zeta Potential Analyzer does not only save time during the measurements, but also helps to reduce common sources of error. The oscillating measurement creates both positive and negative pressure differences, and consequently positive and negative values of the streaming potential or current. This may prevent the polarisation of the device electrodes.
Additionally, the bidirectional flow can reveal asymmetries of the sample surface, such as, for example, inhomogeneous fibre or powder packages as well as insufficiently fixed flat samples. Therefore, with the oscillating, bidirectional flow of the electrolyte, error sources can be identified and measurement errors prevented.
The measuring method of the ZPA 20 – using a piston, the stepper motor pumps the electrolyte fluid up through the measuring cell and back down again.
Modular And Open Design Approach
During the development of the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer, special care was taken to ensure that all surfaces were easy to clean to avoid cross-contamination. This aspect is especially important for obtaining unbiased time- and pH-dependent zeta potential measurements.
Additionally, the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer can be expanded with optional modules. For example, with the LDU 25 liquid dosing system, the electrolyte composition can be changed automatically. This allows to determine the isoelectric point or adsorption of surfactants quickly and accurately.
The cooperation with the IPF helped us to tailor the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer to the needs of our customers right from the start and to design it with the highest scientific standards in mind, says Schaubach, We are especially proud that the patented measurement method renders zeta potential measurements quicker, easier and more reliable than ever before.
The cooperation with the IPF helped us to tailor the ZPA 20 zeta potential analyzer to the needs of our customers right from the start and to design it with the highest scientific standards in mind,
We are especially proud that the patented measurement method renders zeta potential measurements quicker, easier and more reliable than ever before.
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The zeta potential (ζ) is the electric potential measured at the shear plane near the solid surface, more precisely at the boundary between the immobile and the diffuse ion layer.
Use Case: Wettability Studies for 3D-Printed Tablets
The pharmaceutical industry steps into the future: DFE Pharma, a company developing excipient blends for the formulation of pharmaceutical drugs, is researching 3D printing as a innovative way to produce tablets. The technology is especially interesting whenever small batches of tablets are needed, as for example in clinical trials or for individualised medicine. When developing excipient-API-powders for 3D printing, the powder wettability and flow are crucial factors. To gain insights into the wetting behaviour of powders, DFE Pharma is using an optical contact angle measuring and contour analysis system of the OCA-series, developed by DataPhysics Instruments.
The following use case was printed in the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer, August 2022, pages 40-41. © Samedan Ltd.
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Press review: Article in the German trade magazine Wirtschaftsforum
An article about DataPhysics Instruments has been published in the German trade magazine Wirtschaftsforum. In it, Dr Sebastian Schaubach, Managing Director of DataPhysics Instruments, illustrates why the investigation of surfaces and interfaces is a challenging task. He also explains what makes DataPhysics Instruments a valued partner in this field: it combines expert knowledge with the continuous development of new measurement methods and its product portfolio.
You can find the entire article here:
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Research: How spontaneous charging influences the motion of drops on a tilted surface
In April 2022, authors Xiaomei Li, from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, et al. have published an article with the title Spontaneous charging affects the motion of sliding drops in Nature Physics. They have found that the drop motion on a tilted surface is not only determined by viscous dissipation and activated processes, but also by electrostatic forces.
Spontaneous charging affects the motion of sliding drops
So far, the literature in the subject states that the motion of a liquid drop on a tilted surface is influenced by two factors: the viscous dissipation, which is due to hydrodynamic flow within the drop, and activated processes, i.e. the contact line overcoming energy barriers, resulting in contact-line friction. However, those two factors alone cannot predict the drop motion accurately; therefore, at least one other factor needs to be considered. The authors of this study believe that the missing factor is the electrostatic force.
To prove their assumption, they first measured hydrophobic surfaces using the needle-in-drop-method on a sessile drop and chose surfaces with very similar contact angles for further experiments. The samples were surfaces coated in perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (PFOTS), in detail: 1) silicon wafer with approx. 2 nm oxide layer, 2) 1-mm-thick SiO2 coating , 3) 5-mm-thick SiO2 coating. However, they differed in their substrate conductivities and in the thickness of the substrate. Sample 1) is a high-permittivity substrate with a negligible electrostatic force, sample 2) and 3) are low-permittivity substrates.
When the surfaces where tilted and drops rolled off them, the drop's paths differed on each sample. On sample 1), the velocity was high and increased in a linear fashion. This trajectory stayed constant, regardless if one or more drops where dosed on the same surface stretch. On sample 2) and sample 3), the first and second drop also showed a linear progression, although at lower velocities. However, the 100th drop on both 2) and 3) showed a different velocity curve: those drops first moved much faster than the 1st and 2nd drops and then became slower in the second half of the measured slide length (=4.5 cm).
The authors explain those results with the electrostatic force at play between the drop and the surface. Literature has shown that on hydrophobic surfaces, drops in motion deposit negative electric charges on the solid surface - more so at the beginning of their path and ever less as they become more positively charged. As ever more drops leave behind negative charge, especially in the first part of their path, the electrostatic retardation decreases and thus additional drops begin to slide faster in this first part. When they reach the later part of the slide, where less negative electric charge has been deposited by their predecessors, they slow down as the retarding electrostatic force increases and they themselves deposit negative charge onto the surface.
In summary, the experiments discussed in the article give a good indication that the electrostatic force is indeed a third factor determining the velocity of moving drops. This research opens new possibilities for improving the control of drop motion in many areas, like printing, coating, and water management.
We are proud that one of our contact angle meters of the OCA series was used to conduct the needle-in-drop-method and determine the advancing and receding contact angles of the sessile drops. The entire publication can be read on the journal's website, following the link below.
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Press release: Measuring-device-software dpiMAX now available
Filderstadt, 20 May 2022. The German measuring device manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments has developed a new, innovative software for the contact angle meters of its OCA-series: dpiMAX. The software dpiMAX guides the operator, step by step, through the entire workflow and can therefore be operated intuitively. In addition, dpiMAX impresses with a well-organised user interface, which facilitates focused work. Furthermore, several smart functions make measuring especially easy and convenient.
The software of professional measuring devices is not always easy to operate. Various parameters must be set accurately to obtain valid and reliable measurement results. However, to do so, operators are often confronted with too many settings and choices. But this does not have to be the case: versatile and highly precise measuring devices can indeed be operated easily and intuitively. The measuring instrument manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments from Germany proves this with its latest product release: the dpiMAX software for the contact angle meters of the OCA-series.
The software dpiMAX was developed at DataPhysics Instruments by its proficient and highly experienced software team.
Daniel Scholz, product manager for the dpiMAX software at DataPhysics Instruments, explains: The continued development of our previous device software had been leading, over time, to an expert software with many options to choose from. However, this large selection of options also made the software more complicated. Based on this knowledge, our new software dpiMAX focuses primarily on easy and straightforward usability. In addition, numerous technical innovations have been implemented, so that we can now offer our customers a comfortable state-of-the-art software solution.
The continued development of our previous device software had been leading, over time, to an expert software with many options to choose from. However, this large selection of options also made the software more complicated. Based on this knowledge, our new software dpiMAX focuses primarily on easy and straightforward usability. In addition, numerous technical innovations have been implemented, so that we can now offer our customers a comfortable state-of-the-art software solution.
Focussing on the needs of the operators already in early development stages, the dpiMAX software was designed using an agile approach. The proficient software development team at DataPhysics Instruments was able to build on its decades of expertise with measuring device software as well as on state-of-the-art development tools. Scholz says: Our guiding development principle was to ensure simple and intuitive usability, which enables anyone to perform measurements quickly and conveniently. According to feedback from our pilot customers, we have achieved our goal.
Our guiding development principle was to ensure simple and intuitive usability, which enables anyone to perform measurements quickly and conveniently. According to feedback from our pilot customers, we have achieved our goal.
dpiMAX accompanies its operators through the entire workflow
True to the name-giving motto of dpiMAX – Measure quickly, Analyse easily & Xplore intuitively – the software accompanies its operators step by step from the device settings, through the measurement and evaluation, to the creation of reports and the presentation of the measurement results. Thus, beginners are guided comfortably through the entire process. Of course, adjusting additional settings individually is still possible for experienced operators, when facing complex measurements. This applies, for example, to advanced camera settings, which can be utilised to optimise difficult image situations. In sum, an intuitive operation is ensured for every operator, regardless of their level of experience.
On the well-organised user interface of dpiMAX, the different measurement methods can be selected easily and intuitively.
Well-organised user interface facilitates focussed work
dpiMAX supports focussed work by displaying only relevant information on the well-organised user interface. During a measurement, for example, the user interface shows the drop image, the results table, and a customised control panel, which contains only the parameters and control elements required for the selected measurement method. Results are always seen at a glance. For example, the contact angle is displayed directly at the three-phase point in the drop image. The analysis of the surface energy additionally contains an easy-to-read colour code: the colour directly indicates how robust the obtained result is. Hence, thanks to the clear display, operators can easily stay focused on the essentials.
Additional smart functions make measuring easy and convenient
The innovative dpiMAX software not only performs basic tasks, such as controlling the measuring device and executing analysis algorithms. It supports its operators far beyond that, among other things with additional smart functions, which make measuring particularly easy and convenient.
This way, the drop shape evaluation is done in no time: dpiMAX immediately evaluates the surface tension of a hanging drop, or the contact angle of a sessile drop, and directly displays the result in the live camera view. In addition, videos can be recorded and evaluated subsequently. But even if the operator forgets to start recording, the measurement is not lost thanks to the special Instant-Replay-function. dpiMAX always saves the last seconds of the camera image so that it is easy to rewind to a specific image situation.
The dpiMAX software also allows to carry out predefined processes as simple one-click measurements, which is particularly convenient when the operator has to conduct repetitive measurements. In addition, dpiMAX reminds the operator with smart hints to input necessary information on material specifications and suggests suitable dispensing needles when measuring the interfacial tension.
During the measurement, the operator is guided through all necessary parameters by means of a method-tailored control panel (on the right).
Adaptability to individual preferences
dpiMAX not only offers a host of useful functions, which make measuring and evaluating straightforward and even fun. dpiMAX is also available in several languages, making it easy to use for operators all over the world. Furthermore, operators can set substances as their personal favourites and add substance names commonly used in their laboratory. It is even possible to adapt the user interface of the dpiMAX software to different screen sizes, thanks to an integrated zoom function.
dpiMAX is compatible with all current contact angle meters of the OCA series from DataPhysics Instruments and is available as of now. The software is modular in design, so that the methods and analyses required by each operator can be put together individually. Hence, the application experts at DataPhysics Instruments will be happy to offer customised packages. In addition, existing customers with OCA-devices can currently buy an upgrade to dpiMAX at favourable conditions.
The new dpiMAX software from DataPhysics Instruments supports in a unique manner the realisation of high sample throughputs, the investigation of surface properties of new materials and the development of innovative products. This makes dpiMAX a valuable asset for research laboratories as well as quality and development departments all over the world.
When determining the surface energy of solids, additional values can be added easily for evaluation via drag & drop. The easy-to-read colour code provides information about the robustness of the result.
Press release: DataPhysics Instruments is now a member of the Alliance for Fibre-based Materials Baden-Württemberg
Filderstadt, 28.03.2022. DataPhysics Instruments is now a member of the Alliance for Fibre-based Materials Baden Württemberg. The innovative company developing and producing measurement devices is looking forward to a long-lasting cooperation with the Alliance for Fibre-based Materials Baden Württemberg and an active exchange with the other members of the association.
The measurement systems company DataPhyiscs Instruments, headquartered in Filderstadt, Germany, is now part of the Alliance for Fibre-based Materials Baden-Württemberg (Allianz für faserbasierte Werkstoffe Baden-Württemberg e.V., AFBW). DataPhysics Instruments has been developing, producing, and selling a wide portfolio of measurement devices to characterise surfaces and interfaces for 25 years. The company offers a whole range of measuring methods, which can also be used for the examination of fibre surfaces. Thus, there are many connections to the topics of the AFBW, which is positioned across industries and has made it its mission to support its members along the complete fibre-based value chain. The list of well-known members of the AFBW includes Tesa, Dekra e.V., the German Institute for Textile- and Fibre-based Research, the Hohenstein Institute for Textile Innovation just as the Robert Bosch GmbH.
Towards the future with AFBW
Dr. Sebastian Schaubach, CEO and Innovation Manager at DataPhysics Instruments, says: I am very happy that we are now a member of the AFBW. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise in surface and interfacial measurement technology with the other members. Schaubach hopes that the cooperation with the AFBW will lead to interesting joint projects. He explains: We have chosen the AFBW because we are always looking for new partners. In collaboration with researchers and experts who use our devices, we have been able to realise several innovations for our systems. This is where we also see our strength in the future.
I am very happy that we are now a member of the AFBW. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise in surface and interfacial measurement technology with the other members.
We have chosen the AFBW because we are always looking for new partners. In collaboration with researchers and experts who use our devices, we have been able to realise several innovations for our systems. This is where we also see our strength in the future.
Characterising surface and interfacial parameters is important when developing new materials and ensuring a high quality of products. Members of the AFBW might be most interested in measurements to characterise fibres and fibre-based compounds. With our devices, they can choose from a whole range of different measuring methods, explains Schaubach.
Members of the AFBW might be most interested in measurements to characterise fibres and fibre-based compounds. With our devices, they can choose from a whole range of different measuring methods,
Fibre-measurements with the devices from DataPhysics Instruments
With the devices from DataPhysics Instruments, it is possible to characterise the surfaces of single fibres and fibre-based compounds as well as initial polymer melts and fibre-based finished products, among many other materials.
The contact angle meters of the OCA-series from DataPhysics Instruments can be used to measure contact angles on single fibres. With the optional picolitre dosing system PDDS, small droplets down to 30 picolitres can be dispensed, enabling measurements on fibres as small as 200 microns in diameter. The OCA-systems with their powerful cameras can also be used to investigate the wetting behaviour of fibre composites and the absorption of liquid droplets by fabrics or nonwovens. Additionally, if an OCA-system is mounted on the tilting base unit TBU, droplet roll-off experiments can be carried out, which can be helpful when investigating the water-repellency of functional textiles. In all measurements described, various application scenarios can be simulated using
temperature- and humidity-controlled climate chambers.
The wettability of particularly thin fibres with a certain stiffness is best investigated with the tensiometers of the DCAT-series. With those tensiometers, the advancing and receding contact angles are measured based on weight changes when immersing the fibres in a liquid and pulling them out again. However, the occurring weight changes during this process are minimal, which is why DataPhysics Instruments offers a tailored system for this purpose, the DCAT 25SF single-fibre tensiometer, with an extremely precise scale. If fibres wet easily, the advancing contact angle can also be determined in a DCAT-system using a fibre bundle and the so-called Washburn-method.
In addition to optical contact angle measurements and tensiometric investigations, the systems from DataPhysics Instruments offer many other possibilities for investigating fibres and fibre composites. For example, the software from DataPhysics Instruments can determine the surface energy of fibres, based on contact angle measurements with several test liquids. With its polar and dispersive parts, this parameter helps to assess the interaction of fibres with other materials.
Since the surface charge can also provide important information about the interaction potential, DataPhysics Instruments has recently added the Zeta Potential Analyzer ZPA 20 to its product portfolio for investigating this property. The characteristic isoelectric point of a fibre sample can be determined from measurements at different pH values.
In addition to the surfaces of solid samples, such as fibres, the measuring systems from DataPhysics Instruments can also be used to examine liquids, like liquid starting materials of polymer-fibres. For example, the surface tension of polymer melts can be measured with OCA-systems and tempered dosing modules as well as heated sample chambers. In addition, the surface tension of liquids can be measured with the DCAT-systems. Moreover, with the stability analysis system MultiScan MS 20, it is possible to investigate the stability and separation behaviour of disperse polymer formulations.
DataPhysics Instruments is the professional partner for interface and surface analysis
The measuring systems of DataPhysics Instruments are used worldwide in the laboratories of many renowned universities and research institutes, but are also found in numerous industrial companies. Here, it is primarily the experts in product development and quality assurance, who rely on the high-quality equipment and competent service of DataPhysics Instruments in their daily work. Schaubach says: We are always amazed how versatile our customers are in using our instruments. That's why we also wish to support the members of the AFBW with their individual measuring tasks.
We are always amazed how versatile our customers are in using our instruments. That's why we also wish to support the members of the AFBW with their individual measuring tasks.
For all challenges in the field of surface technology, the experienced measurement experts in the DataPhysics Instruments application centre are always looking for innovative solutions. Likewise, they are happy to carry out all available measurement techniques in the form of contract measurements.
Research: How structured surfaces can influence the dewetting behaviour of water droplets during icing and melting cycles
In January 2022, authors Lizhong Wang et al. published an article in Nature Communications with the title Spontaneous dewetting transitions of droplets during icing and melting cycle. In it, they describe how the structure of a surface can influence the behaviour of a droplet during freezing and melting.
Spontaneous dewetting transitions of droplets during icing and melting cycle
In many industries, surfaces on which water droplets roll off easily are highly sought after. On some structured surfaces, droplets come to rest in the so-called Cassie-Baxter state, meaning they sit on top of air pockets formed in the surface structure's indentations, and subsequently roll off the surface easily. In some applications, it is vital that surfaces keep those properties after the water drops freeze and melt repeatedly, for example when designing airplanes. However, after one or more icing and melting cycles, air pockets underneath the droplets can disappear, meaning the drop transitions to the sticky Wenzel-state, and the water droplets do not roll off as easily as before. Using four differently micro- and nano-structured surfaces as examples, the authors of this study show how a certain surface structure can help to retain good dewetting behaviour even after repeated icing and melting cycles.
We are proud that one of our contact angle meters of the OCA series was used in the experiments conducted for this study. The entire publication can be read on the journal's website, following the link below.
Press release: Determine surface energy of solids in seconds with new double dosing system DDS-P
Filderstadt, 27 January 2022. The pressure-based double dosing system DDS-P, developed by DataPhysics Instruments, is now available. Together with a contact angle meter of the OCA-series the DDS-P can determine the surface energy of solids easily and efficiently in seconds. Therefore, the DDS-P is designed specifically for power-users in quality assurance as well as for research and development departments with high sample throughput rates.
Surface energy is an important parameter when characterising solid surfaces, which allows conclusions regarding the surfaces’ adhesion and wetting behaviour. Therefore, surface energy is important in many fields, such as the development and production of paints and varnishes, adhesives as well as surface treatments.
To characterise the surface energy of solids experimentally, contact angle measurements are needed. To do so, drops of at least two test liquids with known characteristics must be dosed onto the surface of the solid. The newly developed pressure-based double dosing system DDS-P by DataPhysics Instruments makes these measurements significantly easier and faster. Dr. Sebastian Schaubach, Innovation Manager at DataPhysics Instruments, says: The straightforward handling of the DDS-P is very impressive. Its simplicity facilitates novices' first steps using the device and allows more advanced operators smooth and efficient measuring procedures. The double dosing system DDS-P can be combined with many contact angle meters of the OCA-series from DataPhysics Instruments.
The straightforward handling of the DDS-P is very impressive. Its simplicity facilitates novices' first steps using the device and allows more advanced operators smooth and efficient measuring procedures
Determine surface energy in seconds
As soon as the DDS-P is mounted onto the contact angle meter, the operator can begin the measurement. They place the solid sample onto the sample table and adjust the distance between table and the valves of the dosing system. The settings for the distance can be saved and reused as long as the geometry of the samples remains the same. Using the new device software dpiMAX, one click on the measurement-button for surface energy determination is enough to initiate the entire measuring and analysis process. Aided by pressure, the DDS-P doses drops of two test liquids, like diiodomethane and water, onto the sample. The software then measures the contact angle of both drops and immediately calculates the surface energy of the solid with its polar and dispersive parts. The calculation of the surface energy is based on the model developed by Owens, Wendt, Rabel and Kaelble, also known as OWRK-model. With the DDS-P, the entire process of measuring and calculating the surface energy only takes seconds. Schaubach says: The perfect interplay between the software dpiMAX with its modern, intuitive user interface and the newly developed double dosing system DDS-P allows for highly accurate measurements in remarkably short time.
The perfect interplay between the software dpiMAX with its modern, intuitive user interface and the newly developed double dosing system DDS-P allows for highly accurate measurements in remarkably short time.
Further time savings are realised as the test liquids in the DDS-P last for many measurements. The drops dispensed by the DDS-P are only about one microlitre small. This means that the three-millilitre-cartridges within the DDS-P hold enough liquid to conduct 3000 measurements before they need to be refilled. Changing the cartridges is as easy as changing the ink cartridge of a fountain pen, compares Schaubach.
Changing the cartridges is as easy as changing the ink cartridge of a fountain pen
Automatised measurement steps reduce error sources
As the DDS-P doses the liquids drops automatically, operator errors when applying the drops to the sample surface are a now things of the past. With just one click, the DDS-P doses the two drops needed simultaneously. Thus, manual operating steps are reduced to a minimum and the risk for user-dependent errors and inaccuracies is lessened. Together with an automatised contact angle meter like the OCA 50, it is moreover possible to position the sample electronically, without any operator intervention, which minimises the risk for user-dependent errors during measurement even further.
Built for applications with high sample throughput rates
The double dosing system DDS-P is well suited for applications where many samples need to be characterised in a short time frame. This is often the case in quality assurance as well as in many research and development departments. However, regardless of the time constraints, those departments need to ensure both high throughput rates and user-independent, high-quality measurements. In such environments automatised surface energy measurements with the dosing system DDS-P and the dpiMAX-software can realise their full potential. Operators can use the system, for example, to evaluate the effectiveness of surface treatments or to assess variations in quality in the production line. Repeated measurements of the same sample at different positions also allow to judge the homogeneity of the surface. Existing customers can upgrade many of their contact angle meters of the OCA-series with the DDS-P. New customers can purchase the DDS-P together with a contact angle meter of the OCA-series from DataPhysics Instruments to match their specific application. For more information, please visit the OCA accessories page or contact us via email
press release as PDFfile_download
Online workshop: Surface Ventures and DataPhysics Instruments offer workshop about Wetting of Hydrophilic Surfaces using Imaginary Contact Angles
Wetting of Hydrophilic Surfaces using Imaginary Contact Angles
On 13 January 2022 at 13:00 GMT, Surface Ventures hosts a free, digital workshop on the topic of wettability of hydrophilic surfaces. DataPhysics Instruments sponsors the workshop and will demonstrate how to use a tensiometer to characterise hydrophilic surfaces. The workshop is designed for novices but also for experts in surface chemistry.
Surface Ventures is a British non-profit organisation offering free online workshops about surface technology. Dr. Samuel McMaser, materials scientist from Coventry University, will host the workshop and speak about the fundamentals of surface chemistry, contact angle measurements and wetting analyses. Afterwards, Dr. Sebastian Schaubach, managing director of DataPhysics Instruments, will demonstrate how to measure contact angles on highly hydrophilic surfaces using the concept of imaginary contact angles with a tensiometer. Untreated and plasma-treated samples will be used as examples. The workshop is free and will be held in English. If you cannot join the live event, feel free to sign up anyway to gain access to the recording of the event.
Background information:The wettability of hydrophilic surfaces is excellent, which is why they are used in many fields, such as medical engineering or the paint and varnishing industry. Often, surface treatments such as UV-light and plasma are used to achieve higher wettability. However, conventional measuring methods often struggle to characterise hydrophilic surfaces properly, as liquid will spread quickly and fully on the surface. The concept of imaginary contact angles, which will be explained in the workshop, makes the characterisation of such hydrophilic surfaces possible.
You can watch the entire workshop for free on the webpage of Surface Ventures, following the link below.
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Press article: How long does beauty last?
Cosmetic products, often consisting of multiple components and phases, should stay stable and uniformly mixed over long periods of time. The MultiScan MS 20 system developed by the German laboratory equipment manufacturer DataPhysics Instruments can analyse how the stability of a multi-phase liquid changes over time and at different temperatures. Researchers in the cosmetic industry can therefore ensure high product quality and longevity from the get-go. Cosmetic products, such as creams, emulsions, lotions, or cleansers, consist of multiple ingredients and are usually multi-phase mixtures. Their formulations are elaborately composed and refined to meet numerous requirements regarding function, appearance, texture, odour, and stability. It must be ensured, for example, that the product is still homogeneous when applied at body temperature, when stored at room temperature for several months or when forgotten in the car on a hot summer day. To analyse and optimise long-term stability at different temperatures, an in-depth analysis is crucial during product development.
This article has been published in the Euro Cosmetics magazine, Oct 2021, No. 29.
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Talk announcement: DataPhysics Instruments is part of the digital event besser lackieren EXPO live - Prüf- und Messtechnik
besser lackieren EXPO live - Prüf- und Messtechnik
DataPhysics Instruments will present how to match coating and surface acording to their adhesion properties on the 7 December 2021 at 9:50 am CET.
The German trade journal besser lackieren hosts its digital event besser lackieren EXPO live - Prüf- und Messtechnik on the 7 December between 8.50 am and 1.15 pm CET. The event is held in German and targets experts and companies in the coatings and paint industry. Dr. Sebastian Schaubach, managing director of DataPhysics Instruments, will join the line-up at 9.50 am. He will talk about the importance of matching coating and surface according to their adhesion properties to obtain a durable finish of the highest quality.
Please note that the event will be in German. If you want more information about how to match coatings to surfaces in English, please contact us directly and we will be happy to help.
Date:7 December 202109:50 CET
You can sign up for the event for free on the website of besser lackieren here:
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Fair announcement: DataPhysics Instruments will be part of the ArabLab 2021 in Dubai
The team of DataPhysics Instruments GmbH is happy to announce that they will be at the ArabLab 2021 in Dubai from 15 to 17 November 2021. You will find us in hall 4, booth 214, as part of the German Pavilion.
DataPhysics Instruments GmbH, a German company with over 20 years of experience, specialises in measurement technology for surface science. We offer a wide range of devices which help analysing chemical and physical properties of surfaces and interfaces, including surface and interfacial tension, contact angle, surface energy, surface topography, and zeta potential as well as dispersion stability. Nils Langer, CEO of DataPhysics Instruments, will be present at the fair. He says: After the pandemic, the ArabLab will be our first fair appearance since 2019, which makes this date very special for me. The ArabLab is one of the most important trade fairs for laboratory equipment and we are looking forward to be a part of it.
After the pandemic, the ArabLab will be our first fair appearance since 2019, which makes this date very special for me. The ArabLab is one of the most important trade fairs for laboratory equipment and we are looking forward to be a part of it.
You will find us at the ArabLab 2021 from the 15 to the 17 November 2021 in hall 4, booth 214. We are looking forward to meeting you!
To book a meeting at the fair, please contact Nils Langer at email@example.com
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Talk announcement: Investigation of plasma effects on implants
Our managing director Dr. Sebastian Schaubach will give a talk on the Investigation of plasma effects on implants as part of the webinar series plasma in the medical sector of the relyon plasma GmbH:
plasma in the medical sector
To characterize the surface chemical properties of a material, contact angle measurements and calculated surface free energies have proven to be reliable parameters over many years. For example, the effect of plasma treatment on a wide variety of surfaces can be quantified. But what do you do if the surface to be characterized is very finely structured or exceeds the measurement capabilities of classical optical contact angle measurement? In our webinar we would like to show you how special picoliter dispensing systems can be used to measure the contact angle on plasma-needled dental implants with a very fine structure. Furthermore, we will show you the concept of imaginary contact angles with which hyperhydrophilic surfaces can also be quantitatively investigated with regard to wettability.
Dates:24 June 202110:00 or 16:00 CEST
You can sign up for the webinar on the website of relyon plasma GmbH.
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The new Zeta Potential Analyzer ZPA 20
The Zeta Potential Analyzer ZPA 20 is a compact measuring instruments that utilises the patented bidirectional oscillating streaming potential method. It is designed to measure the zeta potential of various macroscopic solid samples with highest accuracy and within shortest time. With its powerful stepping motor and innovative method, the ZPA 20 can measure zeta potential values in less than a minute and with high statistical quality.
The modular setup of the ZPA 20 allows for easy exchange of the measuring cells. Hence, the zeta potential of plate shaped solids, fibres, powders and granulate material can be measured. Using a liquid dosing unit LDU 25 the composition of the electrolyte can be changed and for example the isoelectric point or the adsorption kinetic of a surfactant can be determined.
Live online streaming setup
With our live online streaming setup, we are able to do live webinars, product demonstrations and much more. Since on-site visits are still restricted in many cases, we even did some first-time device installations and instructions for new customers with our online streaming setup.
During an online session we can switch between multiple cameras and the presenters PC in order to show you our measuring devices, software or talk slides in great detail. Highest image and sound quality are ensured by the professional video equipment and dedicated microphones for each speaker. Hence, we can even record the session in up to UHD quality and provide them as a download to the participants afterwards.
For our live sessions and webinars, we primarily use Microsoft Teams, but since some companies have strict rules as to which software they can use, we designed our setup to be independent of the used transmission or conferencing software. Hence, we can flexibly adapt to the software preferred by your company as long as it supports screen sharing.
Please contact our application centre or your local distributor for an individual device demonstration or application training. Stay tuned for more upcoming live webinars or consider visiting one of our existing webinars.
DataPhysics Instruments application centre
phone+49 711 77 05 56 66
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Design of robust superhydrophobic surfaces
The properties of superhydrophobic surfaces are highly desirable in many industries and applications. Unfortunately these surfaces often suffer from low durability. They are for example easily scratched by hard objects and their superhydrophobicity is destroyed.
In the latest Nature cover story Wang, D., Sun, Q., Hokkanen, M.J., Ras, R.H.A. et al. introduce a new strategy to create superhydrophobic surfaces that have a high mechanical stability. They designed a material matrix that combines the superhydrophobic nanostructure with a highly durable macrostructure. This new material can be even scratched with a razorblade or with sandpaper without losing its superhydrophobic properties. Due to its transparent nature the new material matrix is an ideal candidate for a new kind of self-cleaning cover material for solar panels.
We are proud that one of our optical contact angle measuring and contour analysis systems OCA 50 was used in the wettability studies that accompanied this work and warmly recommend you this great read.
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Additional webinars and online trainings
In addition to the basics webinar we now offer webinars on optical contour analysis and dispersion stability analysis. In these webinars we give an in depth look into the measuring techniques and discuss various advanced examples. Directly sign-up to one of our webinars.
Our application centre offers in depth, tailor-made trainings and contract measurements either online or on-site with suitable safety precautions. Just contact our application centre:
DataPhysics Instruments application centre
phone+49 711 77 05 56 66
mail_outlineSend an email
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The new Spinning drop Video Tensiometer SVT 25
The SVT 25 is the new Spinning drop Video Tensiometer of the SVT series. With completely redesigned electrical components and many improvements it will continue the legacy of its successful predecessor SVT 20N.
Due to the high-performance camera with USB 3 interface the SVT 25 can resolve spinning drops with up to 2048 x 1088 pixel and hence offers five times the resolution of its predecessor. In Addition fast processes e.g. during oscillation experiments can be captured with up to 3250 frames/s.
The TP 50 control panel with touch screen and precision control wheel ensures a fast and intuitive device control, even during complex measurements. It enables an easy and precise control of the rotational velocity, tilting angle, camera position, illumination and the temperature of the new measuring cells.
Introducing the new Surface Profile Analyzer SPA 25
The new Surface Profile Analyzer SPA 25 can measure surface topography and roughness parameters with exceptional speed and resolution. Due to the utilisation of the white-light interferometry measuring technique the Surface Profile Analyzer can reach a height resolution of 0.1 nm.
Using the industry leading MountainsMap® Imaging Topography software the SPA 25 enables an incredibly detailed 3D visualisation of surface texture. Furthermore the surface roughness can be analysed according to various industry standards like ISO 25178, ISO 4287, ISO 13565, ISO 16610, etc.
Using the SPA 25 in combination with an optical contact angle measuring and contour analysis system of the OCA series provides further insight into surface properties by e.g. determining the surface corrected contact angle according to the Wenzel theory.
Topview contact angle measurement – now even on smallest surface areas
With the picolitre dosing system PDDS and a new, special topview measuring system from DataPhysics Instruments it is now for the first time possible to measure contact angles in topview automatically even on smallest surface areas, using the optical contact angle measuring systems of the OCA series. Hence, wettability and surface energies of, for example, individual paths and contacts of printed circuit boards can be studied – even when the side view needed for conventional contact angle measurement is obstructed.
Make an appointment now with our application centre and experience first-hand how your very own surface chemistry questions are answered. No matter how small and demanding your samples – we from DataPhysics Instruments accept the challenge and will tailor you an optimal solution.
Topview contact angle measurements with picolitre drops on the measuring positions
Measuring positions on a printed circuit board which require picolitre drops
We currently offer three different webinars:
Head over to the sign-up page to see all available dates.
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