Advanced Course on Characterisation of Powders within Pharma, Food and Chemistry

Event Dates: 2017-10-18 to 2017-10-20   

Advanced Course on Characterisation of Powders within Pharma, Food and  Chemistry

Powder characterisation is an essential step for all aspects of powder technology. However, no single characterisation technique alone can be used to reliably characterise a powder. There is a need to use several complimentary methods in order to get a better understanding of particle properties necessary for a successful processing. In this 3-day course at Lund University and MAX IV a wide range of laboratory methods for characterisation of powders are highlighted together with the state-of-the-art synchrotron methods opening doors to new horizons for the characterisation of pharmaceuticals and other complex materials. The aim of the course is also to answer questions like “Which methods are useful to give me a better understanding of my powder related problems?”


The course covers three full days of lectures and round table discussions. Participants will be divided in smaller groups and the round tables will focus on specific themes. This provides participants with an opportunity to deepen their knowledge in specific fields and to exchange experience with others from different areas of work. Participants will be asked to submit questions and their own problems prior to the start of the course. Their specific questions will be highlighted during the course. To read the course description as well as the lecture plan, please click here.
Day 1
Size, shape, morphology and size distribution of powder particles:
  • Introduction to size, shape and morphology – why important?
  • Laser diffraction particle sizing
  • Powder image analysis
  • Electron microscopy techniques (e.g. SEM, TEM, X-ray powder diffraction, environmental SEM)
Material properties of powders:
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy
  • Calorimetric methods
The day ends with two Round tables: Particle size mapping and Electron microscopy, where also participants’ cases will be discussed.
Day 2
Surface chemistry of powders:
  • Introduction – why is the surface chemistry important for powders?
  • The MAX IV facility
  • Overview of different types of X-ray techniques
  • Advantages of using synchrotron light compared with standard laboratory methods
Application examples of characterization of surface chemistry of powders:
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/ESCA )
  • Raman spectroscopy and Confocal imaging
  • Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)
  • FT-IR spectroscopy: Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR)
The second day will be held at the MAX IV laboratory. MAX IV is the first 4th generation synchrotron source in operation and with world-leading brilliance and flux. The facility will support a wide range of experimental techniques such as macromolecular and time resolved crystallography, synchrotron X-ray powder diffraction (SR-XRPD) and energy dispersive X-ray diffraction, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and 3D X-ray diffraction tomography, among others. The use of synchrotron radiation to address industrial problems is growing rapidly worldwide. The high brilliance of MAX IV is ideal for using X-ray scattering in the study of equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics in both soft and condensed materials. The high flux will improve energy and spatial resolution beyond those of current facilities.
The day ends with two Round table discussions “Characterization of surface chemistry of powders” and “From questions to results – how to cooperate with MAX IV?”.
Day 3
Flow properties of powders:
  • Overview of different analytical techniques with focus on Mohr circle analysis
  • A multivariate approach to characterise powders’ rheological properties
  • Particles in air – characterization of aerosolization properties
  • Tomography – microstructure of powders
Reconstitution properties of powders:
  • The powder bed and wetting properties
  • The sessile drop technique applied on a powder bed
  • Image analysis


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