Malvern Panalytical has published work demonstrating how the Sysmex FPIA-3000 image analysis-based particle characterization system provides a reference method for validating particle size measurements of the porous silica materials used in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) columns. An application note detailing this is available on the Malvern Panalytical website: http://www.malvern.com/ESZ
Particle size of column materials is critical in both preparative and analytical HPLC. The majority of applications require particles between 3 and 30 µm, but the high porosity of the silica particles presents a challenge for size measurement. Electrical sensing zone (ESZ) is the established method, and is reliable provided the instrument is mass calibrated to compensate for the porosity of the particles.
Characterizing silica particles using automated image analysis provides confirmation of the mass calibration supporting ESZ measurements, while delivering further additional imaging data on the particles under observation.