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Cluster Studies

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Cluster Analysis, Nanoscale Particles

Hiden Analytical manufacturers high-mass range quadrupole mass spectrometers and sampling inlets for advanced materials science research, including the analysis of nanoscale particles and clusters.


Clusters are defined as a group of similar entities positioned near to one another. In the context of materials, this refers to multiatom nanoscale particles comprised of anywhere between three and three million (3×106) individual atoms. These aggregated nanoscale particles or nano structures adhere together due to various forces (covalent bonds, metallic bonds, ionic forces, van der Waals forces, etc.) much like the corresponding bulk material. However, the electromechanical properties of the two are distinct. This represents significant opportunities to predict how well a proposed bulk liquid or solid will perform by gradually increasing the constituent particles in a corresponding cluster.

Cluster analysis has been proposed in many forms since the mid-1900s, but the first true breakthroughs occurred in the 1980s following a renaissance of vacuum technologies. Early cluster studies aimed to observe the gradual development of a given bulk material’s collective characteristics at the nanoscale. The first true successes included the discovery of fullerenes, clusters comprising sixty carbon atoms (C60), and carbon nanotubes. Future cluster studies are tasked with projecting how new materials and products can be commercialized from novel nanoscale particles, representing inordinate potential for nanocatalysts and quantum computing.

Cluster Analysis with Hiden Analytical

Hiden Analytical develops and supplies the instruments for a new era of cluster analysis and implementation of nanoscale particles. With our 20 mm Tri-Filter quadrupole and 400 kHz RF head we achieve a mass range of up to 4,000 amu and with our 9 mm Tri-Filter a mass range of up to 20,000 amu.

Browse our product literature and related products list to learn about the specific cluster analysis applications of our instrumentation. Or, simply contact a member of the Hiden Analytical team if you have any questions.