MicroTroughXL

MicroTroughXL has all the properties of the original MTXS, but can be also used with extended, larger area troughs for more precise recording of compression isotherms. With the accessories of your choice you can build your own complete Langmuir- and Langmuir-Blodgett laboratory.


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Overview

MicroTroughX – multipurpose Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett instrument

With the universal Kibron MicroTroughX you can study isotherms, lipid monolayers, deposit LB films and much more – with unparalleled sensitivity and precision.

The Kibron MicroTroughX is an all-in-one lab tool enabling researchers to carry out a variety of surface chemistry experiments. Using Kibron accessories you can convert the instrument into a Langmuir-Blodgett trough, a standard tensiometer, a surface potential recording device, just to name a few examples.

Kibron MicrotroughXL has an extended area (with our novel Precision Plus trough) compared to the standard model MicroTroughXS.

The core technology, the proprietary Kibron sensor (0.2 microgram resolution), allows to detect surface pressure and measure compression isotherms with a very high sensitivity, better than 0,01 mN/m, yielding excellent reproducibility.

The technology allows also for very small subphase volumes with regard to both surface tension and pressure measurements; accordingly, LB coatings can be deposited on small surface area substrates.

Kibron MicroTroughX has a compact, robust construction, insensitive to vibrations. It is truly portable and can be set up for use within 5 minutes, requiring no vibration isolation table. The user friendly software allows the beginner to make an effortless start and have immediate control over all MicroTrough operations. The trough basins are easy to maintain and inexpensive, meaning each user can have his/her own.

Comparison with troughs from other companies - apples and oranges? Definitely not so! Kibron Langmuir-troughs involve major innovations, immediately obvious to those familiar with this surface chemistry technique. Starting from the Kibron high precision microbalance with better than 0.2 microgram resolution, to the use of high-tech materials and easy-to-use, intuitive software, Kibron troughs are in a class of their own. For more detailed listing of the advantages of Kibron Microtrough, see Features & benefits.

Importantly, because of the sensitivity of the balance, we do not need to have a large meniscus, and only a needle, our precision-manufactured Dyneprobe is enough to record surface pressure. The beauty of this technique is demonstrated by looking at Kibron AquaPi in action. Further, we never recommend the use of filter paper as a Wilhelmy plate as this results in the notorious chromatography effect: loss of materials from the film and erraneous area/molecule values.

Kibron troughs were designed by scientists for scientists: we know surface chemistry, from basic science and the classroom all the way to leading edge research.

Specifications

Base mechanics 52 x 19 x 6 (h) cm ( 20 x 7.5 x 2.4 inches)
Electronics 27 x 23 x 8 cm (10.6 x 9 x 3.1 inches)
Total weight 3.55 kg (7.8 lbs)
Acrylic casing Prevents perturbation of the film by air flow and accumulation of dust into the interface. Allows for the use of protecting gas to reduce oxidation and photobleaching in fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy.
Dimensions Extended (Precision Plus) trough, outer base plate dimensions 51,6 x 19 cm (20,3 x 7,5 inches)

 

Control of film area

Barriers Made of PTFE. Also hydrophilic, inert polymer (Delrin) are available upon request.
Compression velocity Can be freely varied between 0.004 and 280 mm/min
Inaccuracy Less than 0.1 %
Barrier motion High precision microstepping motor guarantees extremely precise and smooth control of area
Software All measurements are computer controlled, with continuous, real-time display of retrieved data

 

Measurements of surface area

Principle Wilhelmy method using a small diameter ( 0.51 mm) special alloy wire. No artefactual hysteresis as when using the conventional Pt-plates. No drying and accumulation of salt which cause significant errors when filter paper is used.
Dynamic range 0 to 300 mN/m
Atmospheric control Acrylic enclosure and purging with protecting gas (argon, nitrogen) prevents oxidation of the film and minimizes photobleaching in microscopy and spectroscopy, while allowing continuous monitoring of surface pressure.
Resolution 10 µN/m
Temperature sensor Automatic monitoring and display of temperature in the course of the experiment. Resolution 0.1 degrees.

 

Troughs

Material

Metal alloy and high purity PTFE. Several designs available.
Also user-defined designs are routinely made.

Volume

300 µl in surface pressure measurements (Multiwell plate).
45 ml in Langmuir-troughs, and 100 ml in Langmuir-Blodgett troughs. Subphase can be magnetically stirred.

Area

Extended (Precision Plus) trough, inner area 39,3 x 5,9 cm (15,5 x 2,3 inches)

 

Standard accessories

Layer X Deposition accessory Dimensions: Dipper diameter 30 mm, length 100 mm. Attaches to the rail guide on the base plate Langmuir-Blodgett-deposition mechanics. Maximum substrate size is 40 x 28 mm.
RT-100 Ribbon trough Uses concentric PTFE ribbon to compress the film, making very high surface pressures accessible. Can be combined with LayerX. Allows fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy measurements.
MicroSpot surface potential sensor Resolution better than 1 mV. Attaches to the rail guide on the base plate mechanics. Simultaneous measurement of surface potential and surface pressure are possible with subphase volumes starting from 3 ml. Subphase can be magnetically stirred. Excellent signal/noise ratio.
TCP Temperature control plate Connects to a circulating water bath (bath not included).

Accessories

Accessories

MicroSpot

MicroSpot is a miniature size plug-and-play accessory for recording surface potential of monolayers. Kibron MicroSpot has unmatched low noise of less than 1 mV, allowing resolution and reproducibility you cannot find in any of the competing instruments.

Note: the picture shows a MicroTroughXS fitted with MicroSpot.

RibbonTrough

Uses concentric PTFE ribbon to compress the film, making very high surface pressures accessible.

Note: the picture shows a MicroTroughXS fitted with RibbonTrough.

Langmuir-Blodgett lift

This simple and robust device is easy to install and use, allowing controlled deposition of amphiphile films on solid substrates as LB-films.

Temperature Controlled Plate

Kibron Temperature control plate can be attached to MTX and with an optional external circulating waterbath allows to control the subphase temperature, when this is required.

 

Tools

DyneProbe handling tool

Tool for safe and easy cleaning, adding and removal of DyneProbes from AquaPi, EZPiplus, MTXS, MTXL, DeltaPi, and DeltaPi-4.

Probe maintenance station

Ideal for storing and maintaining DyneProbes, in particular when used with DyneProbe handling tool.

Temperature sensor

Sensor for accurately measuring the temperature of the measured substance.

DyneProbe

Chemically resistant. Made for good surface wettability. Du Noüy-Padday technique. Suitable probe for small sample volume.

Butane torch

Butane torch for cleaning the DyneProbes. The torch is a GB-2001, manufactured by Prince.

Miniature magnetic stirrers

Included are miniature magnetic stirrer bars and a magnetic stirrer unit compatible with the MicroTroughX.

Teflon Barriers

Extra compression barriers for the MicroTroughX systems made out of teflon.

Delrin/PTFE Barriers

Extra compression barriers for the MicroTroughX systems made out of Delrin/PTFE.

Plates

All Teflon multiwell plate


All Teflon multiwell plate with injection ports for penetration measurements. Available for both MTXS and MTXL. Multiwell plates have been specifically designed for monitoring the penetration of peptides or drugs into lipid membranes.

Multiwell plate, Aluminium, Teflon coated

Teflon coated Aluminium multiwell plate, with injection ports, for penetration measurements. Optional with magnetic stirrers. Subphase volume 1.3 ml.

Multiwell plate

Glass bottom multiwell plate with Teflon rims. Ideal for penetration measurements, when availability of materials is limited, with subphase volume of only 300 microliters, optionally with magnetic stirring.

Troughs

Teflon coated trough

Trough coated with teflon.

Langmuir-Blodgett trough

This trough has a well in the center, for immersion of slides and objects to be coated with LB films.

Standard Langmuir-trough

This is the basic trough used for recording eg. compression isotherms for amphiphile monolayers. The trough has Teflon rims fitted to special inert stainless steel base.

Trough for fluorescence imaging

This trough has a quartz glass window in the center, allowing fluorescence imaging of the Langmuir-films by inverted fluorescence microscope equipped with long working distance objective.

Zero-order Trough

This is a special design all Teflon trough for studying enzyme reactions in monomolecular films, with the advantage of linear (zero-order) kinetics.

How it works

Compression isotherm for a phospholipid (DPPC) monolayer

The basic operation of a Langmuir-trough is the recording of a compression isotherm for an amphiphile film residing on an air(gas)/water interface. For this, a small, known quantity of the material of interest is dissolved in proper, volatile solvent (such as chloroform) and is then carefully applied onto a clean water surface. In the case demonstrated below a phosphoplipid, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (abbreviated as DPPC) was used. After the evaporation of the solvent, compression of the film by mobile barriers is started, resulting in an increase in surface pressure P is recorded as a function of the area per molecule in the film. Characteristically to the lipid used, DPPC, a phase transition is seen in the force/area isotherm. The rate of compression in the below simulation is greatly exaggregated. Because of the high resolution and neglible noise of the Kibron microbalance, all changes in the isotherm are evident in realtime and require no signal averaging. The precision of the data is solely limited by the accuracy of the liquid handling.

Videos

Publications

Publications

We have compiled a list of assorted articles that each utilizes Kibron MicroTroughX for their experiments.

Click here to see the complete list.

Customer Testimonials

"The monolayer and Langmuir-Blodgett equipment of Kibron has renewed my interest in a technique that I remembered as clumsy and complicated.
In addition, I have been nicely impressed by the kindness and efficiency of the Customer Service. My students are delighted with Kibron".

Prof.Dr. Félix Mª Goñi Urcelay,
Head of Unidad de Biofísica (CSIC-UPV/EHU)
University of the Basque Country


"The probe handler is an excellent tool, I would advise anyone buying one of the ST units to buy one since it makes the retrieval and placement of the probe worry-free and easy"