More than just sunrise and sunset: Aerosols

tec5 Levitator supports identifying effects of aerosols on environmentally relevant processes

Due to the scattering of sunlight, aerosols are responsible for the sky colours known to us, such as dawn and dusk. Research on these mini-particles is of great importance for our climate, our health and, among other things, for the global movement of goods and people. The aerosols consist almost all of organic compounds, which often contain both hydrophilic and hydrophobic parts. The concrete arrangement of these compounds in an aerosol droplet itself is, however, still unknown. Using the tec5 Levitator, this article shows that fatty acids are stored in atmospheric aerosols to form highly ordered three-dimensional nanostructures that can have an impact on environmentally relevant processes. For example: why do engines in air traffic in tropical regions freeze at high humidity? Read the full article...

Lean more about the Levitator

Levitator weisse Tropfen klein

A wall-free climate unit for acoustic levitators

Acoustic levitation is the physical background to capture a sample in a standing acoustic wave without contact with the wave generating device. Over the last three decades, sample holders based on this effect have been commonly used for non-contact sample handling and coupled with a number of analytical techniques. In this study by BAM, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing in Berlin, a wall-free climate unit based on the acoustic levitator tec5 is presented, which makes it possible to control the ambient conditions of suspended samples. The insulation is based on a continuous cold/hot gas flow around the sample and therefore requires no additional insulation material. This provides direct access to the levitated sample and avoids any influence of the climate system on the current analyses. Click here for the abstract in English...

Contactless analysis of matter

The contact-free analysis of liquid matter in a controlled gas phase environment is one of many application examples that can be realized with the tec5 Levitator. In the freely accessible "letter" of the "Journal of Physical Chemistry" linked here, a drop of a liquid crystal can be analyzed without contact by the related hardware, e.g. by X-ray beam scattering. This technology opens up a multitude of new experimental approaches for ecological, biological and chemical research.  Read the full article...

tec5 Levitator helps to better understand spray-drying processes

Optimum drying of food powders

Easy understanding of how to get to a homogeneous and highly soluble milk- or cocoa powder – that is the aim of a research project pursued by the technical High School Fulda in cooperation with the Karlsruher Institute for Technology KIT.
How does the drying-process affect the drop-structure? Graduate engineer and lecturer Ramona Hülsmann and her team study this concept and similar questions. To get closer to the answers, it is important to simulate this hard-to-understand drying procedure as realistic as possible. It is quite complex to examine the process from the original material up to the aggregate state of spray-dried powder. „Using the Levitator gives us the opportunity to observe single drops very precisely. How the structure changes during the drying process under different conditions gives insight into the final properties of the powder after processing. Temperature and humidity are the most important parameters to optimize by the scientific team to finally achieve the wished powder quality.
Dipl.-Ing. Ramona Hülsmann and Prof. Dr. Günter Esper represent the FH Fulda [Food Technology Department], and Dr. Volker Gaukel, Head of Team „Thermophysical Processes“ of Karlsruher Institut for Technology. Thanks to Ramona Hülsmann for answering our questions.
Levitator HS Fulda Logos