Wake up and smell the coffee: the Litesizer 500 enables fast and accurate particle size measurement of small molecules - a caffeine case study

Caffeine (1,3,7-trimethyl-2,6-dioxopurine) is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, with well-known effects on the body. It is used as an additive to soft or energy drinks and naturally occurs in coffee and tea. First isolated in 1819, caffeine can be extracted from the seeds, leaves and fruits of various plants, such as coffee beans, tea leaves or kola nuts. It can be purified either by water extraction, supercritical carbon dioxide extraction or by using polar solvents. Caffeine has a molecular mass of 194.2 Da, a theoretical particle size of 0.96 nm and, in its solid form, is a white bitter-tasting powder. Here we demonstrate that caffeine’s particle size, in spite of its sub-nanometer scale, can be quickly and accurately determined with the Litesizer™ 500. 

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