Particle size is one of the most important parameters in materials science and technology as well as many other branches of science and technology, from medicine, pharmacology and biology to ecology, energy technology and the geosciences. In this introduction we give an overview on the content of this lecture course and define the most important measures of size (equivalent diameters).
۱٫۱ A brief guide through the contents of this course
This course concerns the characterization of individual particles (size, shape and surface) as well as many-particle systems. The theoretical backbone is the statistics of small particles.
Except for sieve classification (which has lost its significance for particle size analysis today, although it remains an important tool for classification) the most important particle size analysis methods are treated in some detail, in particular
- sedimentation methods,
- laser diffraction,
- microscopic image analysis,
as well as other methods (dynamic light scattering, electrozone sensing, optical particle counting, XRD line profile analysis, adsorption techniques and mercury intrusion). Concerning image analysis, the reader is referred also to our lecture course “Microstructure and properties of porous materials” at the ICT Prague, where complementary information is given, which goes beyond the scope of the present lecture. The two final units concern timely practical applications (aerosols and nanoparticles, suspension rheology and nanofluids). Apart from specific appendices to individual course units, there are three major inter-unit appendices, which are based on the knowledge of several course units and concern in particular