“What is dynamic light scattering?” Find out in less than 5 minutes!

Although we’ve gone into deeper detail in previous posts , every once in a while it’s nice to recap on the basics. A few years ago, our presentation “Dynamic Light Scattering Primer” was among the top three recordings in the Malvern charts for months in a row. Over the last decade, DLS has  become one of the de facto nanoparticle characterization standard methods. And it’s used not only for nanoparticles, but also for molecules, proteins, drug delivery particles, liposomes, virus like particles, vesicles… almost anything nano-sized diffusing in a liquid.

For those encountering DLS for the first time – or those in search of a quick (4 minute and 22 second) refresher –  this short overview is worth a mention. It opens with a glimpse of classical  light scattering, then moves onto Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS, also known as PCS and QELS), the physical constraints, correlation statistics, how size and distribution data are extracted, and the benefits of DLS which make the technique so popular.

There’s a lot more information available for further reading; for example, the “White Paper: Dynamic light scattering – common terms defined” or the “Technical Note: Dynamic Light Scattering – an introduction in 30 minutes”,  if you want to delve into more detail.

With the improved utility of DLS systems (like the Malvern Zetasizer Nano) the user base has expanded far beyond dedicated light scattering experts – so it’s great to know that if you do encounter any questions, we’re always here to help.


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.