Powder dispensing

The problem

Manually dispensing small amounts of compounds is really hard. Solids can be fine dispersed powders, clumped, or highly static which makes them sticky and highly unpredictable to dispense. Handling these materials is an art, requires extreme concentration and a very steady hand. Imagine being the person asked to do this hundreds of times a week – not fun.

The right tool for the job

The fully automated powder dispensing capabilities on the Big Kahuna and Junior platforms deliver accurate and precise solid dispenses to complement any workflow. Powder can be dispensed into plates or vials that have been moved into a balance. A powder hopper is aligned to the destination within the balance and gravimetrically dispensed until the target is reached. This process is repeated, switching hoppers and destinations until the experiment setup is complete.

What’s possible

Fully automated powder dispensing

Set up a powder dispensing experiment and Big Kahuna or Junior will do the rest. The software tracks how much powder was added to each hopper and knows when it’s running low. Tracking is done across multiple experiments, so you don’t have to stop and open the hopper to see what’s still left. The powder dispensing algorithm slows down or speeds up to reach your target and provides good repeatability (±0.2 mg) for dispenses under 1 mg. A high-sensitivity balance measures the gravimetric dispense in real time and is closed off during the dispense, eliminating air flow disruption.

One-to-many powder dispensing

Large hoppers are best for one-to-many dispenses where the same powder goes into many destination wells. Hoppers are available in 10, 25, 50, and 100 mL volumes, and multiple hoppers of any combination can be set up on the deck.

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Dispensing a wide variety

When your typical run requires you to dispense many different powders — for example a catalyst screen — the Storage Vial (SV) hoppers are your best bet. These hoppers work with standard 4 mL glass vials that are outfitted with a disposable dispense head. You can fit dozens of vials on deck, and hundreds off deck. These small hoppers allow for greater flexibility in reagent or reaction screening and can also be tracked and used across multiple experimental runs.



Junior automates all your back-and-forth, over and over again, hands-on work. Explore more reaction and formulation conditions, prep samples, or hand off any other tasks you think would be better performed if you’re not the one doing it.

Big Kahuna

Big Kahuna gives you automated, high-throughput, end-to-end solutions for biologics, gene therapy vectors, small molecules, polymers and catalysts. It’s completely configurable and helps you save money and time while getting more work done.


Want more info?

Every lab has different bottlenecks and challenges. We’re all about partnering with you to build the bespoke solution that lets you do science faster and better. Have questions or can’t wait to speak with our expert team to find out what might be possible?