microbalance otherwise nanobalance (rus. микровесы otherwise нановесы; атомные весы) — the term referring to: a large group of analytical instruments, whose mass measurement accuracy ranges from several micrograms to several hundredths of a microgram; 2) special high-precision tools that allow measuring the mass of objects down to 0.1 ng (nanobalance).


One of the first mentions of the microbalance refers to 1910, when William Ramsay announced that he had developed a balance capable of determining the weight of bodies with a volume of 0.1 mm3 to an accuracy of 10-9 g (1 ng). Currently, the term "microbalance" is often used to refer to devices that enable the measuring and recording of mass changes in the microgram range (10-6 g). Microbalances have entered into the practice of modern research and industrial laboratories and are manufactured in various versions, with different sensitivities and corresponding prices.

At the same time, nanoscale measuring equipment has been continuously developed. Measurements of mass at the level of nanogram fractions, which is important for measuring the mass of atoms, molecules or clusters, refers, first of all, to mass spectrometry. It should be kept in mind that mass measurement using this method requires the transformation of the weighted objects into ions, which can sometimes be undesirable. This is not necessary when using another practically important and widely used instrument for accurate mass measurement, the quartz microbalance, whose mechanism of action is described in the corresponding article.


  • Goldt Ilya V.


  1. Jensen K., Kwanpyo Kim, Zettl A. An atomic-resolution nanomechanical mass sensor // arXiv:0809.2126 (12 September 2008).
  2. Microbalance // Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbalance (reference date 12.12.2011).