Every once in a while, we get questions about older light scattering systems which predate the  Zetasizer Nano series. While it is great to hear that these are still in operation, it can also present us with some challenges.  For example, if the system or accessory is no longer in production, and this has been the case for a number of years, are we still able to support it?  On the plus side, we have lots of employees that have stayed with Malvern for more than a decade – some for several decades, in fact – and luckily they often have extremely good memories as well!

Here’s a question we received just the other day:

“What is the recipe of the Coffee-mate® preparation for the Zetasizer 3000 with an MPT1 titratorCan you send me the instruction document?”

The Zetasizer 3000 and the multipurpose titrator MPT1 have both been out of production for quite a while – 14 years, in fact, so they are long since out of the standard “support window”.  Fortunately,  manuals for both systems are still stored and available online.

We had a good look through the Malvern archives, but sadly could not find the particular document referred to in the request.  However, here are the preparation instructions per recollection from one of our light scattering specialists who is familiar with prior generation Zetasizer systems:

This photo was taken by Ulf

Zeta potential test sample instructions

  1. Dissolve one sachet of Coffee-mate® in 50 mL of DI water
  2. Take a transfer pipette and put three drops of the above solution into a fresh beaker of 50 mL of DI water
  3. That solution should be measurable with the Zetasizer 3000

Coffee creamer provides a convenient, low-cost, commonly available sample that is ideal for initial demonstration measurements of zeta potential.

Manuals – Free access

If you have similar questions relating to an “older” instrument, please contact us. We just may still know the answer!


PS: To get up-to-date with our current generation, the Malvern Zetasizer Nano series consists of a collection of compact benchtop measurement systems with optional MPT2 autotitrator and optional NanoSampler for automation. The Zetasizer APS can measure in 96 or 384 well plate format.

PPS: Casein micelles in milk, diluted in water, are also an acceptable demonstration sample, if lactose is OK.


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