What you can study

Applications controlled by interfacial rheology, including:

  • Biological systems such as pulmonary lung surfactant and meibum. Their functionality is largely based on their flow on interphases under stress.
  • Emulsions and foams whose stability is vital for their functionality. Viscoelasticity of an interface can predict the stability of a complex fluid. Micelle/droplet fusion and fission are largely dependent on the interface viscoelasticity.
  • Oil and gas, cosmetics, food products, biophysics, pharmaceuticals, application areas where molecules at interfaces have desired flow properties, such as asphaltenes in oil and gas.

Langmuir monolayer structural studies, including:

  • Phase changes, as the viscoelasticity of the layer is strongly affected by the phase transition.
  • Surface reactions such as crosslinking in real time, as changes in molecular size and shape have typically a strong response in their rheological properties.
  • Aggregation and adsorption, as they typically change the viscoelasticity of the film.
  • Determination of optimal coating parameters prior to deposition, as the Langmuir-Blodgett coating is based on the flow of the molecules to the solid substrate.

3 reasons to invest

Combine with simultaneous measurement

Simultaneous measurement and control of surface pressure are possible due to the easy integration with KSV NIMA Langmuir Troughs. You can correlate rheological data with monolayer surface pressure and phase transitions that are crucial when working with insoluble surfactants.

Add a highly sensitive technique to your lab

ISR can measure very weak elastic and viscous moduli of surfaces and interfaces. The high sensitivity of the method is due to the low inertia hydrophobic probe being moved by a magnetic field without mechanical connections.

Conduct long-lasting experiments

In many applications, such as with biofilms, the long-lasting chemical interactions and film creation kinetics need to be followed in real-time. KSV NIMA ISR does not demand any adjustments to compensate for the influence of evaporation as it is based on a unique floating needle technique.

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Product in detail

KSV NIMA ISR is used for studying phenomena controlled by interfacial viscosity. By analyzing the properties of Langmuir films prior to deposition you are able to determine the optimal deposition parameters.

The method is based on interfacial shear rheology. A magnetized probe positioned at the interface is used to create shear deformation on the interface for which response can be measured by optically recording the probe movement.

For more information about the technology, see: Interfacial Shear Rheometry

KSV NIMA ISR enables both dynamic and static measurements to define the viscoelasticity of the interfacial layers. With dynamic measurement, viscoelastic properties are measured as a function of frequency, time, strain, temperature or surface pressure. Static measurement enables creep testing to be performed and indicates whether the system behaves like an ideal Newtonian liquid (dashpot model) or ideal elastic (spring model). These measurements enable the following parameters to be defined:

  • Elastic (storage) modulus, G’
  • Viscous (loss) modulus, G’’
  • Dynamic interfacial viscosity, μs*
  • Surface/interfacial viscosity, η
  • Relaxation times, τ

Product range

The KSV NIMA ISR can be equipped with either a KSV NIMA Langmuir Trough (or Liquid-Liquid Trough) for simultaneous control of the film packing density or a Low Volume Measurement cell to work with small interfacial areas and reduced subphase volumes.

Both systems enable surface pressure measurement thanks to the integrated highly sensitive Wilhelmy balance. The Langmuir Trough and the Low Volume Measurement Cell are divided into an upper and lower compartment, which can be used to study film viscoelasticity at the liquid-air or liquid-liquid interface.

All the ISR systems have hardware solutions designed for easy injection of the chemicals to enable real-time chemical interactions studies. For example, the low volume cell has two injection ports at each end of the cell to enable easy injection of materials (e.g. proteins, enzymes) in the subphase and to allow gradual subphase exchange while measuring.

Technical specifications


Dynamic moduli resolution (mN/m)
Frequency range (rad/s, Hz)
0.01-10, 0.0016-1.6
Strain range

Instrument Dimensions

ISR with Langmuir Trough (L×W×H, cm)
ISR with Low Volume Cell (L×W×H, cm)
* Dimensions exclude the pressure sensor Interface Unit: 15.8×20.9×27.3 cm

Low Volume Measurement Cell (Inner Dimensions)

Lower compartment (heavy phase) (L×W×H, cm)
12.0×1.1×0.65 (volume 4.7 mL)
Upper compartment (light phase) (L×W×H, cm)
12.0×1.96×0.6 (volume 13.9 mL)

Instrument Weight

ISR with Langmuir Trough (kg)
ISR with Low Volume Cell (kg)

System requirements

Minimum system requirements
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 40 GB hard disk drive (20 GB free)
  • 1024×768 resolution
  • 3 x USB2 Port
  • RS-232 Port (for water bath option)
Operating system requirements
  • Windows 8 (64 bit)
  • Windows 7 (64 bit)
  • Windows 10


KSV NIMA ISR software is a versatile tool for interfacial rheology determination.

Software features

  • Versatile measurements. Frequency sweeps, single frequency experiments, amplitude sweeps and creep compliance measurements are all included.
  • Automation for simplicity. Automated feedback loop keeps the needle amplitude constant in different conditions.
  • Seeing is believing. Live view of the needle oscillation is shown for deeper understanding.
  • All-in-one. Data acquisition, analysis, plotting and exporting all in the same software.
    Flexible data management. Exact control of the data amount and filtering.
  • Connected to KSV NIMA LB. Use together with KSV NIMA LB for integration in surface pressure and surface area data.

Add more possibilities

We have selected a few extras compatible with the ISR. 

Low volume module for KN ISR 

Form sintered solid non-porous POM low volume cell for studies where the amount of material is limited. Volume down to 4.7 ml. Can be used both in air-liquid and liquid-liquid interfaces.

Active vibration isolation system large

The active vibration isolation system allows you to remove vibrations in order to improve the quality of your measurements. It enables you to eliminate disturbing vibrations caused by other instruments, air conditioning systems, buildings and constructions in a zone of seismic activity, cars and traffic in general. 

Cabinet for KSV NIMA Trough Systems

In situations where an ideal cleanroom environment is not available, a suitable alternative may be to house your instruments in one of our dust and draught exclusion cabinets.

Spare set of ISR probes 

Set of 4 magnetized ISR probes. The set contains 2 glass capillaries with the weights of 5-10 mg and 2 capillaries with the weights of 15-20 mg. The glass surface is coated with silane to increase the hydrophobicity.

What others say

Our instruments are present at many prestigious universities and research facilities worldwide. Find out what others say about KSV NIMA ISR. 

Professor Gerald G. Fuller, Stanford University, USA

KSV NIMA ISR is easily integrated with KSV NIMA Langmuir Trough allowing precise control of monolayer packing density. Therefore, the KSV NIMA ISR is the only rheometer enabling surface pressure measurements and monolayer compression/expansion. As a conclusion, I may state that the KSV NIMA ISR remains the most sensitive method and the only one that allows the control of surface pressure.


Stanford University, USA

Stanford University is a leading research institute located in California. The overall mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of people around the world through discovery and application of knowledge.

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