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None the Worse for Wear: Durability of the Univette

The Univette was developed to measure the zeta potential of particles dispersed in organic solvents with the Litesizer™, but its high quality construction also makes it the cuvette of choice for ELS or DLS measurements in extreme conditions of temperature, chemical corrosiveness or conductivity. Here we demonstrate that 1000 zeta potential measurements in a high conductivity solvent can be performed with a single Univette without affecting its performances. Thus, the Univette is a truly long-lasting, reusable cell for ELS measurement in extreme conditions.

A particle’s zeta potential (ζ) is a measure of the net charge at the particle’s surface. There are different measurement techniques to determine the surface charge, but electrophoretic light scattering (ELS) is one of the easiest and fastest techniques. The net charge of the particles impacts their stability and interactions with other surfaces, such as that of other particles or of the packaging, and is used to characterize their tendency towards aggregation. 

Anton Paar’s Univette was designed for zeta potential and size measurements of particles in organic as well as aqueous solvents, but its robust PEEK construction and palladium electrodes also make it very resistant to chemical corrosiveness as well as to mechanical and/or ultrasonic cleaning. 

This is of particular importance when performing ELS on highly conductive samples, as they can lead to the deposition of residues on the cuvette’s electrodes. While the electrodes of most ELS cuvettes cannot be cleaned and are thus irreversibly degraded by repeated high conductivity measurements, the innovative Univette potentially constitutes the first truly reusable ELS cuvette. 

In the present application report we have sought to test the Univette’s resistance to multiple zeta potential measurements on high conductivity samples as well as to repeated mechanical and ultrasonic cleaning. 

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