You are seriously considering ordering a Zetasizer. An excellent choice! Here are some considerations prior to installation of a Zetasizer in your lab. A typical pre-installation email about the Zetasizer site requirements we often receive at this point is:

“What are the site requirements for the system?”

The Malvern Zetasizer is a compact benchtop measurement system which requires little space on a standard laboratory lab bench. It also requires connection to a computer (either standard PC or a laptop). All requirements are in the manual. Which is automatically placed on your computer in PDF format, along with the software and available under

Start –> All Programs –> Malvern Instruments –> Zetasizer Software –> Documentation –> Man0382-5.0 (Zetasizer Nano Essentials).pdf

If you do not have the software installed yet, you can download it for free. Or get the manual Man0382_5.0_(Zetasizer_Nano_Essentials)-reduced-filesize directly.

Space requirements (all measurements are width x depth x height):

  • The standard Zetasizer Nano series system itself measures approximately 320 mm x 600 mm x 260 mm, see excerpt of the site requirements.
  • The optional Autotitrator measures approximately 170 mm x 390 mm x 260 mm.
  • The optional NanoSampler measures approximately 300 mm x 510 mm x 360 mm.
  • The Zetasizer APS is a different standalone system which measures about 500 mm x 410 mm x 420 mm.

Electrical requirements:


All systems with the Zetasizer label require only standard wall outlets, and have low power requirements. They are compatible with standard US and international voltages: 90-240V AC, 50-60Hz, 150W; current: typically less than 1Amp. If you desire, you can fit an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) . This will remove any spikes or noise due to fluctuations in electrical power. However, this is not a requirement. The software does save even partially-acquired data as it is generated. So measurements which have been taken prior to a power failure are always saved on the computer.

Malvern products are designed to meet international safety standards and Zetasizers carry the CE mark (Zetasizer-Nano-CE-Declaration-of-Conformity).

Computer requirements:

The software can operate on any recent computer  with a Windows operating system. Depending on the software version, this may also be an older operating system version. As of April 2016, the current minimum computer specifications are moderate. An Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, 160GB hard disk drive, 1024×768 screen resolution running in 32-bit color mode, CD-ROM drive, 1 free USB port, Windows 7 or 8 operating system.

You can always find the details in the software update notification which is located on your computer. If you have the Malvern Zetasizer software installed, you can find this document at:
Start –> All Programs –> Malvern Instruments –> Zetasizer Software –> Documentation –> Software Update Notification for DTS vx.xx.pdf .

Laser safety:

Zetasizer instruments are Class 1 laser products and as such, require no special laser safety considerations during normal operation. There is no exposure to laser radiation when measuring a sample. The laser passes through the sample in the cuvette within the cell holder. So the laser is completely inside and contained. The software will only unblock the laser during a measurement. In addition, you have to physically close the cell holder for a measurement. Otherwise a mechanical laser shutter physically blocks the light beam. 

The complete laser path is enclosed during normal operation of the system. Servicing of the instrument must be performed by a qualified Malvern Panalytical service engineer, as laser radiation could be accessible when the instrument is taken apart in the process of a repair.

Optional air/nitrogen purge requirements:

Purge connection – If measuring samples at low temperatures there is a potential risk of condensation occurring on the measurement cell wall. This can occur when the measurement temperature is less than the ‘dew point’ of the ambient air surrounding the cell. This is particularly likely in very humid climates. If you suspect that this may be a problem then the purge inlet port can be used to connect a dry-air supply – i.e. a supply with a dew point below that of the target temperature. This will remove any moisture in the air immediately surrounding the cell and prevent condensation on the outside of the cuvette. If using the purge inlet connector then the air supply should conform to these specification:

  • Compressed air to DIN 8573-1
  • Oil = Class 1
  • Water = Class 3
  • Particulate = Class 3
  • Pressure = 100 kPa

For connection purposes, the purge connection uses an M5 internal thread diameter. An optional purge connection kit (ZEN1009) is available from Malvern instruments if you want to use this facility. When performing a purge measurement you should take the following rules into account:

  • The flow rate will be preset at 1.5ltr/min at 1 bar.
  • The instrument should be operated at a maximum of 30°C & 70% relative humidity when the requested temperature is below the dew point.
  • When operating at a humidity higher than 50%, the measurement should allow a minimum delay of 4 minutes to allow the temperature to stabilize.
  • The flow is “always on”, there is nothing to set in the software.

Zetasizer site requirements in summary

These details are also in the manual on your computer. You just have to install the Malvern Zetasizer software. Then you can find the requirements at:
Start –> All Programs –> Malvern Instruments –> Zetasizer Software –> Documentation –> Manuals –> Zetasizer-Nano-user-manual-English-MAN0485-1-1.pdf

So that’s it. The Zetasizer site requirements for a typical system, which is what you may need before you install a Zetasizer in your lab.


If you have any questions, please email me at ulf.nobbmann@malvern.com. Thanks! While opinions expressed are generally those of the author, some parts may have been modified by our editorial team.