Advantages of Analytical Ultracentrifugation (AUC)
The following features make Analytical Ultracentrifugation such a valuable tool in colloid science:
- Analytical Ultracentrifugation is an absolute method.
- Analytical Ultracentrifugation is a dispersive method; mixtures are fractionated during analysis.
- Analytical Ultracentrifugation gives access to geometric (size, shape, structure) and thermodynamic properties (equilibrium constants, free energies, enthalpies, entropies).
- With a maximum angular velocity of 60,000 rpm, equivalent to Earth's gravity 260,000-fold, the Analytical Ultracentrifugation is applicable for a particle size range from 1 to 1000 nm and a wide range of densities.
- Arbitrary solvents can be applied (assuming that suitable cell material is provided).
- Detection is most versatile due to multiple, synchronous optical systems.
- Complex mixtures are fractionated with high statistical reliability, as all sedimenting particles are detected.
- Combination of sedimentation and spectroscopic properties allows resolution on Ångström scale.
In industry, semiautomatic machines are already implemented for product control, for example in pigment and latex production.
In fundamental research, the main application field is still in biochemistry.
The basic physical property utilised in the Analytical Ultracentrifugation is mass, or density, respectively. This is the fundamental difference giving the Analytical Ultracentrifugation a special position among all other common methods of analysis.