How can I display specific parameters?

The classic Zetasizer Nano has a wealth of information available that you may not always see from the start. There are more than >500 parameters that the software stores for each individual measurement. And every parameter can be accessed. To display them all could be quite overwhelming. So, by default, we have created a selection of commonly used parameters in different workspaces to give you easy access to what you need. For example, the “Size” workspace contains the z-average size, and the “Zeta” workspace contains the mean zeta potential in mV – among other parameters.  However, occasionally you may want to see more information than that. And this is easy: Customize a workspace to display exactly what you want!

How do I see a parameter that is not there?

The ‘hidden’ parameters can be found from the workspace setup menu. As an example, see how the derived count rate is available in the list, and how we can make it visible in the workspace. As a further illustration, we add the Volume Mean and Volume Width for Peak 1. You can skip steps 13-18 if that is too confusing.

Why modify a workspace?

To be able to simply view (and export) select parameters of your data sets. You can just follow the steps below to customize a workspace. Once through this exercise, you’ll be able to make your own custom workspace with any imaginable layout of parameters.

{If you want to familiarize yourself with workspaces, see chapter 7 of the Zetasizer manual. This manual is located on your computer at Start → Malvern Instruments → Zetasizer Software → Documentation → Manuals. You can also access the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\Malvern Instruments\Zetasizer Software\Documentation\Manuals to find the largest file there, Zetasizer-Nano-user-manual-English-MAN0485-1-1.pdf. Search within a pdf by opening it and then Ctrl-F to find instances of ‘workspace’}

Step-by-step instructions to customize a workspace

The easiest method to export unusual parameters is to create a new workspace.

  1. Select the size workspace
  2. Export the size workspace, by clicking on the small down arrow next to it [leave all directories at default values]
  3. Import the size workspace, now give it a different name, for example Size-MyOwn
  4. Select the new workspace “Size-MyOwn”
  5. Edit the workspace by clicking on the small symbol next to the name
  6. Now customize the layout of the workspace by deleting everything you do not want to keep, and then adding the parameters you require in the tab “Record view parameters”
  7. For example, if you want to delete the polydispersity index PDI
  8. Now add any specific parameters you would like to see in the records view. You may have to search for them manually. For example to add the derived count rate, go to Size (expand the plus next to it) and then derived count rate
  9. Then click on the upper central “right-pointing arrow” to make the value appear
  10. Another specific parameter you might find of interest could be the volume peak mean and width. These are found on the left panel under Size – Size Peak, then click the upper arrow,
  11. Then select the parameter on the left again, so that it appears twice on the right side.
  12. Next, double click the name “Size Peak” on the right side, and change the name to “Vol Mean Peak 1”, select Volume transformation, peak type mean, and Peak 1
  13. Also do this for the second set, where you name it Vol Width Peak 1, and select volume transformation, peak type width, and peak 1
  14. Now finally press “OK”
  15. The desired parameters now appear in your records view in the workspace “Size-MyOwn” – and can be highlighted, then copy with Ctrl-C to clipboard and paste with Ctrl-V into Excel or similar.

Final notes on workspaces

OK, maybe the above list is not that simple, but each steps involves nothing complicated. If you would like to learn even more, the workspace can also be customized to display specific reports. You can enable these reports following instructions in “FAQ-How to add reports

Previously

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