Characterization of the Particle Loading in Deionized Water Systems by Automated SEM Analysis

  • T. B. Vander Wood
  • L. D. Detter


Characterization of the particles found in ultrapure water systems should be a standard complement to routine monitoring of particle concentration. Scanning electron microscopy combined with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry is the technique of choice for particle characterization, but can be very time consuming. Automation of the system for particle detection and elemental analysis largely overcomes this disadvantage, and allows for detection, sizing and characterization of hundreds to thousands of particles isolated from a pure water system (e.g., by a point-of-use filter), all without human intervention after initial setup. Automated systems commonly in use provide accurate sizing and compositional information, but are limited to particles larger than approximately 0.5 μm, and rely on the operator to anticipate possible particle types (e.g., stainless steel, silica). Improvements anticipated for the near future include a smaller minimum size, ultimately approximately 0.05 μm by use of transmission electron microscopy, and a posteriori particle classification by statistical techniques.


Particle Type Average Aspect Ratio Particulate Contaminant Pure Water System Automate Sizing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. B. Vander Wood
    • 1
  • L. D. Detter
    • 1
  1. 1.McCrone Associates-AtlantaNorcrossUSA

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