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     Laboratory Equipment ---    Kibron MicroTroughX: Multipurpose Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett instrument    ---

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MicroTroughX – multipurpose Langmuir and Langmuir-Blodgett instrument

With the universal Kibron MicroTroughX you can study isotherms, lipid monolayers, deposit LB films and much more – with unparalleled sensitivity and precision.

The Kibron MicroTroughX is an all-in-one lab tool enabling researchers to carry out a variety of surface chemistry experiments. Using Kibron accessories you can convert the instrument into a Langmuir-Blodgett trough, a standard tensiometer, a surface potential recording device, just to name a few examples.

Kibron MicrotroughXL has an extended area (with our novel Precision Plus trough) compared to the standard model MicroTroughXS.

The core technology, the proprietary Kibron sensor (0.2 microgram resolution), allows to detect surface pressure and measure compression isotherms with a very high sensitivity, better than 0,01 mN/m, yielding excellent reproducibility.

The technology allows also for very small subphase volumes with regard to both surface tension and pressure measurements; accordingly, LB coatings can be deposited on small surface area substrates.

Kibron MicroTroughX has a compact, robust construction, insensitive to vibrations. It is truly portable and can be set up for use within 5 minutes, requiring no vibration isolation table. The user friendly software allows the beginner to make an effortless start and have immediate control over all MicroTrough operations. The trough basins are easy to maintain and inexpensive, meaning each user can have his/her own.

Comparison with troughs from other companies - apples and oranges? Definitely not so! Kibron Langmuir-troughs involve major innovations, immediately obvious to those familiar with this surface chemistry technique. Starting from the Kibron high precision microbalance with better than 0.2 microgram resolution, to the use of high-tech materials and easy-to-use, intuitive software, Kibron troughs are in a class of their own. For more detailed listing of the advantages of Kibron Microtrough, see Features & benefits.

Importantly, because of the sensitivity of the balance, we do not need to have a large meniscus, and only a needle, our precision-manufactured Dyneprobe is enough to record surface pressure. The beauty of this technique is demonstrated by looking at Kibron AquaPi in action. Further, we never recommend the use of filter paper as a Wilhelmy plate as this results in the notorious chromatography effect: loss of materials from the film and erraneous area/molecule values.

Kibron troughs were designed by scientists for scientists: we know surface chemistry, from basic science and the classroom all the way to leading edge research.


Base mechanics 33 x 14 x 6 (h) cm ( 13 x 5.5 x 2.4 inches)
Electronics 27 x 23 x 8 cm (10.6 x 9 x 3.1 inches)
Total weight 3.55 kg (7.8 lbs)
Acrylic casing Prevents perturbation of the film by air flow and accumulation of dust into the interface. Allows for the use of protecting gas to reduce oxidation and photobleaching in fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy.
Dimensions Standard trough, outer base plate dimensions 33 x 14 cm (13 x 5,5 inches)


Control of film area

Barriers Made of PTFE. Hydrophilic barriers made of Delrin are available upon request.
Compression velocity Can be freely varied between 0.004 and 280 mm/min
Inaccuracy Less than 0.1 %
Barrier motion High precision microstepping motor guarantees extremely precise and smooth control of area
Software All measurements are computer controlled, with continuous, real-time display of retrieved data

Measurements of surface area

Principle Wilhelmy method using a small diameter ( 0.51 mm) special alloy wire. No artefactual hysteresis as when using the conventional Pt-plates. No drying and accumulation of salt which cause significant errors when filter paper is used.
Dynamic range 0 to 300 mN/m
Atmospheric control Acrylic enclosure and purging with protecting gas (argon, nitrogen) prevents oxidation of the film and minimizes photobleaching in microscopy and spectroscopy, while allowing continuous monitoring of surface pressure.
Resolution 10 µN/m
Temperature sensor Automatic monitoring and display of temperature in the course of the experiment. Resolution 0.1 degrees.




Metal alloy and high purity PTFE. Several designs available.
Also user-defined designs are routinely made.


300 µl in surface pressure measurements (Multiwell plate).
22 ml in Langmuir-troughs, and 55 ml in Langmuir-Blodgett troughs. Subphase can be magnetically stirred.

Area Standard trough, inner area 23 x 5,9 cm (9,1 x 2,3 inches)

Standard accessories

Layer X Deposition accessory Dimensions: Dipper diameter 30 mm, length 100 mm. Attaches to the rail guide on the base plate Langmuir-Blodgett-deposition mechanics. Maximum substrate size is 40 x 28 mm.
RT-100 Ribbon trough Uses concentric PTFE ribbon to compress the film, making very high surface pressures accessible. Can be combined with LayerX. Allows fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy measurements.
MicroSpot surface potential sensor Resolution better than 1 mV. Attaches to the rail guide on the base plate mechanics. Simultaneous measurement of surface potential and surface pressure are possible with subphase volumes starting from 3 ml. Subphase can be magnetically stirred. Excellent signal/noise ratio.
TCP Temperature control plate Connects to a circulating water bath (bath not included).