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FTA4000 Piezo Pump Operation

There are two generations of FTA4000 instruments, those shipped before 2003 (first generation) and those shipped after 2003 (second generation). The operation of the peizo pump differs between the two models. The following paper is general enough to apply to both generations of instruments.

FTA4000 Small Drop Dispense

First Generation Instruments

These instruments used a small displacement piezo pump, approximately 500 nanoliters, backed by a precision syringe pump using Hamilton GasTight syringes. With this design, the syringe pump is used for all displacements greater than 500 nanoliters. Put another way, the piezo pump is used only for small displacements, the typical application being sessile drop formation for contact angle work. The piezo pump is not used to form pendant drops for interfacial tension measurements.

Three documents in the Papers section of this web site describe the operation and use of the first generation piezo pump:

Notes on FTA4000 Applications

FTA4000 Liquid Dispense Methods and Capabilities

How to Make Small Drops with the FTA4000

Second Generation Instruments

These instruments use a large displacement piezo pump, approximately 4 microliters. There is no syringe pump. The dispense protocol is carried out with the patented NanoDispense technique which automates operation. These instruments are not optimized for pendant drop interfacial tension work, although it is possible to form a pendant drop and make the measurement. They are intended for rapid, easy contact angle work with small drops. For further details, see

NanoDispense for the FTA4000