Dip CoaterKibron’s LayerX Pro is a precision dip coater facilitating thin film deposition on a variety of different substrates. Our flexible dip coaters may be used standalone or in combination with our Langmuir instruments. Simple connection of the dip coater to a laptop or PC is enabled via a USB port. The operating software interfaces to our troughs offering you the possibility to use data from the force sensor to control the operation of the dip coater.
For use with our existing MicrotroughX series (MTX) the Layer X Pro dip coater is supplied on a separate stand. On the flagship Microtrough Gx series the dip coater base support has M6 mounting holes for positioning & securing on the trough, or on any standard optical breadboard should you wish
Ingeniously designed clamps that may be removed for cleaning are supplied with the dip coater for both Langmuir-Blodgett and Langmuir-Schaeffer techniques. In each configuration the dipping angle may be flexibly adjusted by rotating the arm of the dip coater.
- Langmuir-Blodgett: The Dip Coater clamp holds the substrate in vertical position suitable for Langmuir-Blodgett dipping.
- Langmuir-Schaefer: The substrate is held perpendicular to the axis of the clamp suitable for the (horizontal) Langmuir-Schaefer mode.
The Layer X Pro Dip Coater software offers a wide range of available commands as well as a script language for user programming & bespoke experiments. Specific event based control or triggering is available within the software as it interfaces directly with the Microtrough control output data. Detection of the substrate touching the liquid surface by following the surface pressure sensor can act as an event change and subsequently allow a change in operation of the dip coater. This is just one illustration of the software and Dip Coaters flexibility.
Kibron dip coater productsClick here to see our dip coaters series
Langmuir-Blodgett TroughThe principle behind the operation of a Langmuir Blodgett (LB) trough is to record the compression isotherm for an amphiphile film (monolayer) residing at the air(gas)/water interface. To achieve this a small, known quantity of the material of interest is dissolved completely in a volatile solvent (such as chloroform) and is then carefully applied via syringe onto a clean water surface. Following evaporation of the solvent, the film compression starts by movement of the mobile barriers. This results in an increase in surface pressure which is recorded as a function of the area per molecule in the film.
The Kibron MicroTrough Series is a family of open, yet modular Langmuir Blodgett Troughs flexibly engineered on a stable base frame accommodating all components for Langmuir Trough & Langmuir-Blodgett Trough experiments. The Langmuir trough & Langmuir-Blodgett trough tops and compression barriers are made from the purest PTFE on the market; the trough and dipping well are machined from a single block of PTFE.
The core technology in our Langmuir Blodgett (LB) Troughs is the proprietary Kibron sensor (0.2 microgram resolution), which allows detection of surface pressure and measurement of compression isotherms with a very high sensitivity, (0,01 mN/m) which yields excellent reproducibility. The high sensitivity and small diameter rod used to measure surface pressure allows very small sub-phase volumes to be used for both surface tension and pressure measurements; accordingly, LB coatings can be deposited on small surface area substrates. Owing to the high resolution and negligible noise of the Kibron microbalance, all changes in the isotherm are evident in real-time and require no signal averaging.
Flexible accessories for the Langmuir-Blodgett Trough expand the range of experimental possibilities; dip coaters allowing thin film (monolayer) deposition on varying surfaces, Surface Potentiometer for surface potential measurements and troughs with optical windows to combine simultaneous microscopy measurements are available.
Removable and interchangeable Langmuir-Blodgett Trough tops either from PTFE or metal alloy allow the user to easily clean the trough between experiments. Systems can be easily configured according to the parameters for the monolayer film being studied; the inexpensive nature of the Langmuir Blodgett trough tops enables different researchers to consider having their own.
Stand alone, manual or software controlled Dip coaters are available for use with all Kibron Langmuir troughs and can accommodate a wide range of substrate sizes for either Langmuir Blodgett (LB) deposition (vertical) or Langmuir Schaefer (LS) deposition (horizontal). The interchangeable trough top system allows the correct size trough & dipping well to be easily positioned as & when needed. Simple or Complex dipping profiles can easily be set up for multi-layer deposition as required
A temperature control plate and a complete enclosure box for the Langmuir Blodgett trough (which may be purged with a gas) allow sensitive experiments to be set up. All functions are comfortably controlled and data captured through our new FilmWare Software which is simple to use yet powerful in capability with add-ons for specialist research areas like interfacial rheology and the same Langmuir Blodgett Trough.
Kibron MicroTrough - Langmuir-Blodgett troughClick here to see Kibron MicroTrough products
Dynamic Contact Angle
Measuring Advancing & Receding Contact AngleDynamic contact angle measurements characterise how a liquid and solid interact during the course of a wetting and de-wetting process providing further information on the surface roughness and (in)homogeneity of the sample surface. Wetting properties benefit the scientific investigator in many industrial applications such as hair care science, printing, oil recovery & fibre re-inforcement for composites / aerospace.
Feature / Benefits of Measuring Dynamic Contact Angle with EZ-Pi PlusEZ-Pi Plus with Dynamic Contact Angle mode provides the user with a higher performance to price ratio than other devices as our standard force sensor is, easily sensitive enough for small diameter fibers & rods. Other commercial systems for measurement of Dynamic Contact Angle on single fibres require a higher sensitivity, higher cost system than is standardly available.
The low sample test liquid volume (max 3ml) we need to make Dynamic Contact Angle Measurements, along with the compact footprint of the Ez-Pi Plus Tensiometer are further benefits our offering provides to you the user
Wilhelmy balance method to Measure Dynamic Contact AngleThe Wilhelmy balance method uses a microbalance to measure the force exerted on a solid when it is immersed into the wetting liquid of interest. In a dynamic contact angle measurement using the Kibron EZ-Pi Plus the standard measuring probe is replaced by a sample. The force exerted by a chosen test liquid on the sample is measured as a function of immersion depth and pull direction. When the perimeter of the sample and surface tension of test liquid are known, (or measured) the dynamic contact angle can be calculated. For macroscopic samples the force must be corrected for buoyancy. The contact angle when the sample is immersed into the liquid is called the advancing contact angle (wetting) and when the sample is withdrawn it is termed the receding contact angle (de-wetting). The difference between advancing / receding contact angle is known as the hysteresis, and provides insight into surface wetting and roughness.
Wetting measurements on single fibers, for textiles, hair and fiber re-inforcement applicationsOur standard EZ-Pi Plus is equipped with a force sensor with a 100 mg maximum load and a resolution of less than 0.2 μg. It is ideally suited for small samples, e.g. rods of < 1 mm diameter, fibers and hairs. It can even be used for fibers of 1 μm diameter. For samples of larger size an optional sensor with a capacity of 300 mg is available on request to further benefit the user
Langmuir TroughThe Kibron MicroTrough Series is a family of open, yet modular Langmuir Troughs flexibly engineered on a stable base frame accommodating all components for Langmuir Trough & Langmuir Blodgett Trough experiments. The user may select and attach their trough of choice based on material and size, the compression barrier material type and easily attach the high sensitivity (yet robust) pressure sensor which is at the heart of all Kibron Langmuir Trough systems.
Flexible accessories for the Langmuir Trough include; dip coaters allowing thin film (monolayer) deposition on varying surfaces, Surface Potentiometer for surface potential measurements and troughs with optical windows to combine simultaneous microscopy measurements are able to be added with ease. A new Interfacial Rheology module completes the range of available accessories
Easily removable and Interchangeable Langmuir Trough tops from either the purest PTFE or metal alloy allows the user to easily clean the trough between experiments. Systems can be easily configured according to the parameters for the monolayer film being studied; the inexpensive nature of the Langmuir trough tops enables different researchers to consider having their own.
Flexible positioning of the microbalance / pressure sensor at the monolayer interface is enabled through a smartly engineered adjustment mechanism offering the ultimate fine control. Surface pressure is measured on the Langmuir trough with high sensitivity (better than 0.01mN/m) thanks to the proprietary Kibron pressure sensor which provides excellent resolution without need for an anti-vibration table.
The very small diameter rod used on our Langmuir Trough pressure sensor allows very small sub-phase volumes to be used for surface pressure / area isotherms. This is important for materials which are in short supply or high value materials like biomaterials which are the very essence of Langmuir Trough work.
Stand alone, manual or software controlled Dip coaters are available for use with all Kibron Langmuir troughs and can accommodate a wide range of substrate sizes for either Langmuir Blodgett deposition (vertical) or Langmuir Schaefer deposition (horizontal). The interchangeable trough top system allows the correct size trough & dipping well to be easily positioned as & when needed. Simple or Complex dipping profiles can easily be set up for multi-layer deposition as required
A temperature control plate and a complete enclosure box for the Langmuir trough (which may be purged with a gas) allow sensitive contamination free experiments to be set up with ease. All functions are comfortably controlled and data captured through our very latest redesigned software which is simple to use yet powerful in its capabilities and future add-ons for researchers and student teaching alike.
We like to think we have everything covered in our range of Langmuir Troughs. With the iterative nature of our research users & their feedback we continually strive to improve our Langmuir Trough products including engineering bespoke customer systems specific to their application. We like to think of ourselves as the “GOTO Experts” in the field of Langmuir Troughs and Thin Films so put us & our technology to the test and see how Kibron Langmuir Troughs can help you!
Kibron MicroTrough Series - Langmuir TroughClick here to see Kibron MicroTrough products
Critical Micelle ConcentrationThe defining characteristic of surfactants (surface active compound) is their ability to lower surface tension by partitioning into the interface. This accumulation of a surface active compound in the air-water interface lowers the surface tension. This phenomenon is well described by classical thermodynamics, more specifically, by the Gibbs adsorption isotherm.
Figure 2Schematic presentation of the equilibrium between
surfactant at a surface, free surfactant, and in micelles.
Surfactants possess another important property, namely self-assembly into micelles in the solution. Micelles are structure where the surfactants minimize unfavourable interaction with the solvent, for example in aqueous solution hydrophobic surfactants chains assemble in the middle of the micelles.
Figure 3Determination of critical micelle
concentration from surface tension vs. concentration data.
Since many surfactants take part in a micelles the phenomenon is similar to phase formation, with the micelle formation occurring over a fairly narrow concentration range of free surfactant. Thus, the critical micelle concentration (CMC) or solubility limit results in a sharp transition above which the concentration of the free surfactant molecules remain constant, resulting in a plateau in the surface tension / pressure. Surface tension measurements is one of the most efficient techniques to determine CMC. However, independently of the experimental technique chosen, CMC determination requires analysis at several concentrations, usually amounting to more than 10 points. The Critical Micelle Concentration is then determined from a plot of Surface Tension vs. the logarithm of the concentration. The Delta-8 is designed for the task.
Micelles are interesting industrially interesting structures. They can serve for example as surfactant reservoirs, or nano-sized containers for chemicals, for example hydrophobic species can be solubilized in the hydrophobic environment in the micelle core. Applications range from emulsion polymerization to drug carrier vehicles.
Delta-8 is a unique high throughput surface tension plate reader, for e.g. HTS screening of critical micelle concentration (CMC) values of surface active materials. It is a fully automated platform capable of taking 96 surface tension measurements in 3 minutes which is about 100 times faster than conventional instruments. The Delta-8 uses standard size detection plates and conventional dispensing systems. Each well (volume 50 μl) can be charged with aliquots of solution of different concentration. The instrument is well suited for expensive materials due to the low volume required. The instrument uses wire probes that are inexpensive and robust compared to Wilhelmy plates and Du Nuoy rings. The automated cleaning of the probes in the probe cleaning unit prior to each measurement cycle reduces manual maintenance considerably.
The Delta-8 system is easily integrated into conventional laboratory robotics using our dedicated communication interface. The Delta-8 Manager software is easy to use and encourages proper design of experiments while providing elementary analysis of isotherms.