Lab-Tools Ltd.

Nano- to Micro- Science & Metrology,
Scientific Instrumentation and Software.

over 100 refereed papers
+ 70 conferences

Dr Beau Webber Publications:
~ 44 refereed papers
+ 47 conferences

Our Sites:
Nano- to Meso-scale
research and modeling:
Volumetric Metrology
research and analysis:
Porous Materials
research and analysis:
NMR pore measurement
research and analysis:
and software design:

Porous mateials studied:
Sol-gel & CPG silicas
MCM templated silicas
SBA templated silicas
Activated carbons
Cement & Concrete
Fired & unfired clays
Marine Sediments
Chalks, Shales
Oil-bearing rocks
Emulsions & Paint
Artificial skin
Melanised fungal cells

Lab-Tools Ltd. is a micro/SME spin-off company specialising in nano-science, nano-metrology and instrumentation design.

  • Nano-science :
    • The study of the nano-scale properties of liquids in pores and at interfaces;
    • Application of the Gibbs equations to the nano-scale dynamics of liquids/ ices;
    • Neutron Diffraction Cryoporometry to study crystal phases.
  • Nano-metrology :
    • Bulk nano-scale to micro-scale structural characterisation;
    • NMR Cryoporometry to measure pore-size distributions, surface areas and pore volumes;
    • Neutron Scattering SANS & modelling techniques to measure nano-structural dimensions.
  • Instrumentation :
    • Peltier cooled NMR probes for pore-size measurement.
    • USB interfaced instruments based on VLSI, FPGAs and array-processing software.
Lab-Tools develop, operate and sell NMR Cryoporometry apparatus that is optimised to measure pore sizes, pore size distributions and pore volumes and to study materials that are structured on a 1nm to nearly 10µm length scale. Most finely porous materials are suitable for such studies, provided that a liquid can be added or is already present.

This apparatus is based on wide-temperature range low-field NMR relaxation spectrometers with ultra-precise temperature control.  Peltier or nitrogen cooled probes are also available from Lab-Tools to retro-fit industry standard NMR spectrometers, for your own NMR pore-size measurements.

Background information on the Cryoporometric technique is available at  .

Lab-Tools performs Contract Measurements on Porous Systems for both academia and industry.

Lab-Tools performs research to study the properties of liquids and their ices / gas hydrates in structured materials and at interfaces.

The studies we perform are relevant to :

  • Understanding the properties of water/ice at hydrophilic/hydrophobic and biological interfaces.
  • Understanding how to increase recovery from oil and gas reservoirs,
  • Determining the properties of methane hydrate in model and real marine porous systems,
  • Informing research on porous catalyst support systems,
  • Studying properties that affect the frost resistance of cement and fired clay,
  • Informing high performance nano-structured battery research,
  • Helping predict the longevity of biochar for carbon sequestration.

Lab-Tools performs industrial contract analyses and also joins with other bodies such as universities to perform academic research. Lab-Tools has close ties with academics at a number of universities.

Lab-Tools performs contract analyses of Pore Size Distributions using NMR Cryoporometry :

Lab-Tools has successfully measured pore sizes in a wide range of porous materials, including oil and/or water wet materials. NMR Cryoporometry is one of the few techniques that can be applied to materials that can not be dried out without losing their structure. The technique is non-destructive, and can be used to follow evolution of pore structure for evolving systems.

The Lab-Tools pore-size distribution measurement range extends from about 1nm to nearly 10µm. NMR Cryoporometry measures both the total pore volume and the pore volume distribution as a function of pore diameter.
We frequently find that NMR Cryoporometry (NMRC) may be preferable to more established methods such as BET gas adsorption or DSC thermal porisimetry, and can now also provide information on both pore diameter and pore throat size, unlike Hg Intrusion, which just measures the pore throat.

NMR Cryoporometry measurement costs are very competitive Cost per sample depends on the pore-size range to be covered, and precision needed, but goes down markedly for multiple-sample batches. Two free measurements are normally available for you to evaluate the technique for your samples. Please contact Dr. Beau Webber to discuss pore size measurements on your samples.

Academic Consultants :

Prof John H. Strange:
(NMR & porous media)
: Emeritus Professor of Experimental Physics, School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, CT2 7NZ.
~160 Publications

Prof J. C. Dore:
(Neutron scattering & liquids in confined geometry)
Emeritus Professor in Condensed Matter Physics, School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, CT2 7NZ ~160 Publications

Normalised example pore size distributions,
                      measured by NMR Cryoporometry.
Normalised example pore size distributions, measured by NMR Cryoporometry.
Pore size sistributions for a clay fired at
                      three different temperatures, measured by NMR
Pore size distributions for a clay fired at three different temperatures, measured by NMR Cryoporometry.
2D Resolved
                      Pore Sizes.
2D Resolved Pore Sizes - 4 tubes with different nano-pores, measured by spatially resolved NMR Cryoporometry.

Lab-Tools Ltd.
Canterbury Enterprise Hub,
University of Kent,
Kent. CT2 7NJ

Dr. Beau Webber
Mob: 07805 437 241
Research home page

Event Photo-reports
Lab-Tools Tech-Tips

Lab-Tools is a Micro/SME spin-off from the University of Kent Physics department, and still has a base in the Enterprise Hub at that university, but has now moved the NMR research and development laboratory to a new purpose designed facility near Ramsgate, in Kent.

Director Dr. Beau Webber currently holds an honorary research fellow positions at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, and has held positions at the University of Kent, honorary and otherwise, for many years. He has an extensive publication record in the fields of nano-metrology and the properties of liquids, ices and gas-hydrates in pores and at interfaces :

Grants :
Lab-Tools has just won a 1.188 million Euro EU FP7 grant, in conjunction with Agricultural Requisites And Mechanizations Limited, Lightmain Company Limited, Oxyguard International AS, Technosam SRL, The Nottingham Trent University and Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya.
This project "Autonomous Reed Bed Installations (ARBI)" will enable the consortium to develop ecologically sound and sustainable modular reed-bed installations for purifying waste-water. Multiple nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) installations, buried in the reed-beds, will be used to monitor their life-cycle, so that corrective action can be taken to prevent clogging and extend their life.

Director Dr. Beau Webber has completed an academic project using Lab-Tools' capabilities, together with the Centre for Gas Hydrates Research at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, for three years, to a value of £285,731. :
EPSRC: EP/D052556/1 : "Capillary controls on gas hydrate growth and dissociation in synthetic and natural porous media: PVT, NMR, Neutron Diffraction and SANS". Final Grant Report

Publications :
Director Dr. Beau Webber now has about 40 published papers, including two techniques papers published in Physics Reports, one on neutron scattering, one on NMR :
Nano-metrology of porous structures - I. Using neutron scattering to access pore lattice, diameter and wall parameters, by comparison with direct calculation of scattering from models of extended arrays of regular or randomised pores. J.Beau W. Webber. Physics Reports, 526, 4, 227-248, 2013. DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2013.01.002 .
The other Physics Reports paper was written jointly with Kent and Cambridge Universities : Review of NMR Cryoporometry, DOI: 10.1016/j.physrep.2008.02.001  .

We have developed and demonstrated the first practical protocol for making 1, 2 and 3 dimensionally resolved measurements of volumetric metrology.

Lab-Tools performs contract measurements for a number of national and international companies including in the construction industry and oil / well-logging industries.

Our techniques are based on both physical thermodynamics and scattering techniques, and we can apply a range of NMR, X-ray and neutron scattering techniques, as well as the more conventional gas adsorption and thermoporosimetry techniques.

The strength of Lab-Tools in the nano- to micro-scale field is based on a strong record of academic research, combined with extensively applied metrology, and the proven ability to implement novel measurement protocols with appropriate combinations of apparatus and software.

Please do contact Dr. Beau Webber if you think these measurement techniques might complement your research studies. Two preliminary measurements on your samples are usually available at no charge.
  • We are very pleased to be a partner in academic research, fundable by grants, to which these techniques could provide a novel insight, and leading to further publications in journals.
  • We are also interested in extending the range of these techniques into new fields; please contact us if you have samples that you would be interested in characterising on either an academic research basis, leading to publication, or on a commercially funded basis.
  • If you are developing a new measurement technique that requires novel apparatus, Lab-Tools can apply a powerful set of physical, mathematical and software tools to help realise this instrumentation.

Nano- to Meso-scale properties of liquids
and their solids :
research and modeling.

Nano- to Micro-scale Volumetric Metrology :
research and analysis.

Lab Tools Instrumentation :
Scientific Instrumentation and Software Design.

Dr. Beau Webber : 2005-05-15 ... 2011-02-19