New Hyderabad contract lab offers full range of particle characterisation services
14 February, 2023 by
Surface Measurement Systems Ltd, John Dowd

Particle Characterisation Laboratories (PCL) is an exciting new Contract Research Organisation (CRO) opening in Hyderabad, India, to serve the global laboratory research community. This unique CRO will provide easy access to a broad range of particle characterisations services in one hub. Together with its in-house expertise, PCL is well positioned to become a world-renowned hub for extensive physicochemical characterisation of particles.

Particle Characterisation Laboratories’ stated mission is to provide unfettered access to advanced materials characterisation services to laboratories and researchers across the globe. They will consult closely with researchers and their organizations to understand their research needs and identify what specific particle analysis they require. PCL will then conduct the research in our state-of-the-art laboratory, working closely with our customers to ensure their staff have a deep understanding of their results, and what implications they have on their materials research.

This new enterprise is part of a group of scientific companies owned by Surface Measurement Systems Holdings (SMS). SMS was founded in 1990 by Professor Daryl Williams with the invention of the ground breaking Dynamic Vapour Sorption characterisation technique. After 30 years of working closely with top pharmaceutical companies and manufacturing advanced scientific instrumentation, SMS now has offices around the world and a deep pool of technical, practical, and theoretical knowledge, putting them in the ideal position to bring Particle Characterisation Laboratories Ltd to the global research community.

On the launch of PCL, Professor Williams said ‘In our core instrumentation business, we often meet researchers who don’t have either the right in-house characterisation technique, the expertise to operate complex particle characterisation instruments, or the experience to analyse the some-times complex experimental data sets. Particle characterisation is an important part of research and development processes, and PCL is aiming to become the centre of excellence and main point of reference for all laboratories around the world with characterisation needs.

Identifying Hyderabad, India, as an exciting up-and-coming area for scientific enterprises, Surface Measurement Systems Holdings worked with Indian and UK governments to launch this cross-continental endeavour. Receiving support from the UK Consulate in India, and the Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana, K.T. Rama Rao, Particle Characterisation Laboratories has developed an extensive laboratory in Hyderabad, containing the most advanced particle characterisation instrumentation available.

PCL will offer the following techniques for particle characterisation:

  • Dynamic Vapor Sorption – a gravimetric technique employed to measure the sorption properties of materials using water and organic vapours, used to characterise complex materials used in a range of industries.
  • Powder Rheology – a technique to study the behaviour of powders as bulk assemblies. It allows users to measure the dynamic flow and shear properties of powders as well as quantifying bulk properties such as density, compressibility, and permeability.
  • Gas Pycnometry – also referred as Helium Pycnometry, this technique facilitates the measurement of True Density of powders using an inert and ideal gas.
  • Laser Diffraction – a technique in which the scattering intensity data resulting from a laser beam passing through a dispersed particulate sample is used to calculate the particle size distribution.
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry – a very useful technique that provides qualitative and quantitative information on the thermal properties of solid materials such as melting points and crystallisation events.
  • Envelope Density – Envelope Density is an extremely effective technique for characterising a variety of solid materials across different industries, particularly porous objects of irregular size and shape.
  • Inverse Gas Chromatography – a chromatographic technique that provides an accurate and deep understanding of the physicochemical properties of the surface of a material. It is also the most versatile method of measuring surface energy.
  • Nitrogen Adsorption – this N2 based volumetric technique is commonly used to measure the surface area of powders. Applying the BET (Brunauer, Emmett and Teller) theory, it is possible to analyse the physical adsorption of gas molecules on a solid surface and determine a specific surface area in m2/g, as well as provide insights on the powder’s porosity.
  • Light Scattering – a popular rapid and non-invasive technique commonly used for measuring the size and size distribution of molecules and particles ranging from a few nanometres up to several microns in size whilst in solution.

While already working with key clients on some advanced projects, Particle Characterisations Laboratories will officially open its doors in February 2023. To find out more about PCL, and enquire about engaging our contract research services, please go to