Surface and Interface Characterization

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  • Physical Sciences
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Dr. Amaia Agirre 943018476

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In the Surface and Interface characterization unit of POLYMAT, the analysis is devoted to the characterization of different type of surfaces, interfaces and polymeric films. Moreover, physical and chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases, solid-liquid, solid–gas (air) and liquid–gas interfaces could me measured. Tensiometer The tensiometer is a powerful and accurate technique to measure static surface and interfacial tension of liquids. These direct measurements allow determination of a number of material and surface properties, such as dynamic contact angle, surface free energy, critical micelle concentration (CMC) and wettability. This information can be used to determine and understand different properties of the materials such as adhesion, absorption, adsorption, surface heterogeneity, density, porosity, powder wettability and material solubility to name but a few. The following measurements are performed in our labs: - Surface tension - Interfacial tension - Critical micelle concentration - Powder wettability - Dynamic contact angle Goniometer The goniometer is mainly used to measure a contact angle between a solid surface and a liquid. However, it permits not only to precisely determine the surface or interfacial tensions of liquids, but also the surface free energy of solids. The obtainable measuring results are: - Static contact angle - Dynamic contact angle - Surface and interfacial tensions - Surface free energy - Dispersion and polar distributions of the surface free energy.

Goniometer: Contact Angle System OCA 20, Dataphysics

  • CCD video camera with a resolution of 768x576 pixel and up to 50 images per second.
  • Integrated temperature measurement and display in the range from -40 ºC to 150 ºC.
  • Up to four manual and/or electronic (motor driven and software controlled) dosing units with a manual or electronic multiple dosing system or alternatively one direct dosing unit with one manual or electronic syringe unit.
  • Micro-controller module for control of the electronic syringe units, the electronic multiple dosing system, the electrically driven sample stages as well as the temperature controller.
  • An electronically controlled tilting base to measure the sliding angle in different surfaces.

The software SCA 20 offers various expansion steps:

  • Control the electronic syringe modules, the tilting base assemblies, wafer stages and temperature controlled devices.
  • Static and dynamic contact angle measurement according to the Sessile and Captive Drop method.
  • Calculation of the surface and interfacial tension from the contours of pendant and sessile drops as well as of liquid lamellas on plates, rods and threats.
  • Calculation of the surface free energy of solids and their components according to the theories of Wu, Zisman, Owens-Wendt, Extended Fowkes, Schultz 1+2, Fowkes and van Oss & Good.


  • Fully automatic measurements avoids user dependant variation and saves time
  • Select readymade experiment recipes or create custom programs for quick and repeatable operations
  • Programmable probe and sample immersion and withdrawal cycle(s)
  • Step by step powder protocol for simple powder wettability measurement
  • Fully automatic CMC measurement, Schott titronic universal liquid dispenser
  • Platinum Du Nouy ring
  • Measuring range (mN/m) 1-2000
  • Displayed resolution (mN/m) 0.001
  • Density range (g/cm³) 0-2.2
  • Maximum load (g) 210
  • Weighing resolution (mg) 0.01
  • Contact angle range 0 -180°
  • Contact angle resolution 0.01°
  • Calibration & locking Automatic



Centro Joxe Mari Korta Av. Tolosa 72 20018 Donostia-San Sebastián