Volume-Filler Universal Sample Holder for Critical Point Dryers


Critical Point Dryers (CPD) require strict adherence to operation guidelines to minimize accumulation of foreign particles, but there are still some that accrue during regular use. Particles build-up over time and may become trapped within the CPD, leading to consistent particle contamination of samples despite carefully cleaning the machine. While an analysis of the CPD revealed several design flaws that were ultimately fixed, the main problem of latent particle deposition on samples was solved with the invention of this universal sample holder.


Technical Summary:

This Volume-Filler Universal Sample Holder prevents particle fallout from contacting the active surface, while also reducing both the required Liquid CO2 (LCO2)/Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and the purge times for each run. Currently, manufacturers supply a multiplicity of special sample holders to accommodate different sample conformations. The present design can be optimized to work for any CPD system and would reduce the required sample holders to just one while simultaneously reducing particle accumulation.


Figure 1: Critical Point Dryer performance parameters. Implementation of the Universal Sample Holder demonstrated overall efficiency improvements across purge times, IPA fill volumes, and LCO2 use rates.


Value Proposition:

This device reduces the volume of liquids required for CPD operation and drastically reduces particle deposition on the active surface for samples of any conformation.



  • Critical Point Dryers


Key Benefits:

  • Increased Efficiency – Reduces volume of LCO2 needed for CPD operation by nearly half, volume of IPA required, and purge time.
  • Reduced Cost – Minimization of LCO2, IPA, and purge times allows for minimized cost for CPD usage.
  • Universal – Allows mounting of nearly any sample; reduces multiplicity of special sample holders currently provided.
  • Particle-reducing– Nearly eliminates all particle deposition on sample active surfaces, even in contaminated systems.
  • Adaptable – Design concept can be modified to accommodate any CPD system.


IP Status: None.

Licensing Opportunity: This technology is available for public use. 

ID Number: MP-17012 

Contact: otc@utdallas.edu


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
OTC Licensing
Roger Robbins
Engineering & Physical Sciences
Research Tools
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