Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis

Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis is a physical characterization technique that provides quantitative analysis of the specific surface area and porosity distribution of solid materials. The method is applicable for a wide range of solid matrices from catalyst powders to monolithic materials.

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What is BET analysis?

BET analysis is an analytical technique utilized for determining specific surface areas and pore size distributions of solid materials. The technique is based on the physical adsorption of an inert gas, such as nitrogen, on the solid surface of the sample. The measured specific surface area is given in m2 / g.

What is BET analysis used for?

BET analysis is mostly used for analyzing the fineness of cement and concrete, the adsorption capability of activated carbon, catalyst characterization, adsorption performance of gas purifiers, and studying of nanomaterials.

How is BET surface area determined?

The specific surface area of the BET sample is determined by the physisorption of an inert gas, typically nitrogen, argon, or krypton, on the sample surface. The surface area determination should be carried out at constant temperature (isothermal) depending on inert gas used typically at 77K for liquid nitrogen temperature. The properties of the sample define the suitable inert gas used in the analysis. The small gas molecules attract to the surface of the solid sample and open porous structure forming a monolayer of adsorbed gas. After the gaseous monolayer of molecules is formed, the sample is placed into a non-nitrogen atmosphere and heated. This allows the release of the adsorbed nitrogen gas molecules from the surface of the sample. The released gas molecules can then be quantified and the surface area and porosity of the sample calculated.

Sample requirements and preparation

BET is suitable for characterization of powders and monolithic solids. Usually, around 500 mg of sample material is needed to obtain reliable results, but sometimes smaller sample amounts can be used. The sample preconditioning is an essential step before starting a specific surface area measurement. All possible physically bonded surface impurities including moisture must be removed via degassing step. Degassing step is performed under vacuum conditions and at high temperatures for no less than 16 hours. Before starting the actual BET measurement the setup should be calibrated performing a blank run with helium gas. The helium gas typically will not be adsorbed on the surface of the solid sample.

Need a BET analysis?

Measurlabs offers BET analysis services of high quality with fast results and affordable prices. If you have any questions about your sample or it’s suitability for the method, our experts are always happy to help. You can contact us through the form below or by emailing us at

Suitable sample matrices

  • Cement
  • Concrete
  • Pharmaceutical ingredients
  • Minerals
  • Activated carbon
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Zeolits
  • Other powders and porous materials

Ideal uses

  • Adsorption capability of materials
  • Quality control in metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, cement, and concrete industries
  • Characterization of catalysts
  • Research on powder metallurgy and nanomaterials
  • Porous molecular sieve development
  • Gas filtration development

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Frequently asked questions

What is BET analysis commonly used for?

BET analysis is mostly used for analyzing the fineness of cement and concrete, the adsorption capability of activated carbon, catalyst characterization, adsorption performance of gas purifiers, and for studying nanomaterials.

What kind of samples are suitable for BET analysis?

Powders and monolithic solids like cement, concrete, minerals, zeolites, carbon and pharmaceutical ingredients can be analysed with BET.

What is Measurlabs?

Measurlabs offers a variety of laboratory analyses for product developers and quality managers. We perform some of the analyses in our own lab, but mostly we outsource them to carefully selected partner laboratories. This way we can send each sample to the lab that is best suited for the purpose, and offer high-quality analyses with more than a thousand different methods to our clients.

How does the service work?

When you contact us through our contact form or by email, one of our specialists will take ownership of your case and answer your query. You get an offer with all the necessary details about the analysis, and can send your samples to the indicated address. We will then take care of sending your samples to the correct laboratories and write a clear report on the results for you.

How do I send my samples?

Samples are usually delivered to our laboratory via courier. Contact us for further details before sending samples.