An open-source dynamic light scattering device for nanoparticles sizing

Project Summary

Characterising the size of micro and nano-particles is important in many applications such as protein aggregation and complex fluids studies. For particles larger than about a micron, optical microscopy can be used in conjunction with image analysis softwares. For submicron particles however, more advanced and expensive techniques have to be employed such as electron microscopy or light scattering. In particular, Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) is widely used for dilute particles suspensions. In DLS, particles size is back-calculated from the way light scattered from a laser beam evolves with time as particles undergo Brownian motion in the fluid. Typical commercial DLS equipments are expensive because of the use of high quality lasers and detectors, allowing measurements over a broad range of particle sizes and concentrations. On the contrary, this project aims at exploring DLS principles and boundaries with low-cost components and open-source design. More broadly, this approach will also contribute to future projects involving light scattering or high frequency data logging.