Pore Size Measurements

Pore Volume and Pore Size Lab Services

Quantachrome Instrument’s contract lab, LabQMC, offers analytical services for pore size measurement for pores ranging in size over the entire spectrum from 0.35 nm to 950 µm. A variety of different methods are used to access different pore size ranges. Gas adsorption methods give information regarding micropores (‹2 nm) and mesopores (2-50 nm), while mercury porosimetry is the standard technique for obtaining pore size information about meso- and larger macropores (0.004-950 µm). In addition, information about the size of through-pores can be obtained using the technique of capillary flow porometry (0.013-500 µm). Pore volumes can also be obtained. Our laboratory personnel are happy to discuss your application with you in order to select the most appropriate technique(s) for your material.

We apply state-of-the-art data reduction methods, including density functional theory (DFT) methods, in order to provide you with the most accurate pore size calculations. LabQMC instrumentation is equipped with the largest commercially available range of advanced computational methods for data analysis and our scientific staff has decades of experience and expertise in choosing and applying the correct methods for your material.

Our laboratory personnel are always happy to discuss your application in greater detail to select the best characterization method to solve your problem or answer your material question. In addition, our expertise does not end with the measurement. Results can also be discussed with our scientific experts in the context of your application any time after the analysis has been completed.




Pore Size by Mercury Porosimetry Lab Services

Mercury intrusion and extrusion porosimetry remains the most widely used method for obtaining information about the macroporosity (pores > 50 nm) of a material. With increasing environmental and governmental regulations for handling and disposing of liquid mercury, choosing a contract lab for mercury intrusion analysis is a desirable option. LabQMC handles all of the mercury disposal as part of the cost of the service. In addition to pore size distribution, analytical services for mercury porosimetry analyses can also give information regarding bulk density when requested.




Pore Size by Capillary Flow Porometry Lab Services

Capillary flow porometry, sometimes called liquid expulsion porometry, measures pore size distributions of through-pores in samples such as textiles, papers, battery separators, or other sheet like materials and even hollow fibers. Bubble point is also reported. Analytical services for capillary flow porometry can also be used to determine air or liquid permeability as a separate measurement.




Pore Size by Gas Adsorption Lab Services

LabQMC’s analytical services for gas adsorption are used to measures pores in the range from 0.35 nm to over 100 nm (upper limit is dependent on the type of material). A standard measurement is performed using nitrogen gas at cryogenic (liquid nitrogen) temperature. Argon gas may also be used at liquid argon temperatures and is recommended for polar microporous materials such as zeolites or metal-organic frameworks. Carbon dioxide (measured at 273 K) can also be used to assess the ultra-microporosity (pores ‹1 nm) of carbon based materials.

Finally, a method for pore size characterization of thin films using krypton gas at liquid argon temperature is available for analysis of pores up to 10 nm. Samples must be outgassed prior to all gas adsorption measurements. Customer provides outgassing temperature and time or they can be selected by our team of experts based on the material type.

Pore size and volume measurements are often used in the following industries:



  • Battery
  • Textiles
  • Paper
  • Gas and Oil
  • Energy and Environmental
  • Ceramics
  • Metal Powders, Oxides, and Alloys
  • Polymer
  • Geological
  • Medical and Dental Device
  • Semiconductor
  • Cement
  • Catalysts
  • And many more



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