Greater resolution is often required as particle sizes are shrinking. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging quickly shows the size and morphology of particles. In less than a minute from load to image, the Phenom desktop SEM is the fastest way to get data and keep your research or product development work moving forward.
Colorized SEM image of ibuprofen powder
Morphology and Size Distribution
Understanding the morphology and size distribution of particles containing either active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) or excipients is critical when optimizing compounding processes and dissolution rates for controlled release of materials. For crystalline particles, observation of crystal habit provides insight to the flowability, compaction, tableting, and other characteristics that impact product performance.
Phenom SEM image of pharmaceutical particles
Further, the chemical composition of particles in any given batch needs to be characterized when analyzing the efficacy of mixing or checking for foreign particulate matter. SEM can be paired with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to analyze the chemical composition of individual particles.
EDS of excipient with foreign particulate matter
R&D Example: Lubricant in a powder blend
Faster than mechanical testing, SEM imaging shows a lubricant particle in a powder blend and explains the resulting material properties. EDS indicates a signature element in the lubricant.
The SEM images (left and center) show lubricant morphology and visual confirmation of lubricant dispersion in a blend and EDS mapping (right) enables the detection and location of trace elements
Automated Particle Analysis for Pharmaceutical Applications
Accelerate workflow and remove operator bias for particle analysis
Particle Surface Morphology
Use atomic force microscopy for particle surface topology