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Theta Lite

Theta Lite is a compact and accurate contact angle meter for simple measurements of contact angle andsurface free energy. It also measures surface and interfacial tension.

Features & Benefits

  • Compact and robust design with high quality imaging. It is a convenient entry-level instrument for routine measurements, educational use and quality control.
  • Theta Lite comes with OneAttension Software. The modern and user-friendly software reflects over 20 years of experience and close co-operation with our customers.  Its flexibility enables easy implementation of customized features and functionalities for special demands.
  • Attension’s extensive service and application support team helps you get the best from your instrument. Pre-studies can be conducted in an AttensionLab to assess the feasibility of your research, test samples for verification, and to demonstrate the suitability of our tensiometers for your research. 

Product details

Theta Lite measures contact anglesurface free energy and drop volume. It can also measure surface tension and interfacial tension (optional). The available drop profiles are: sessile drop, pendant drop, meniscus, captive bubble and reverse pendant drop. Advancing and receding contact angles can also be studied if the liquid is dispensed manually. The instrument comes with a manual sample stage and manual liquid dispenser, making it a convenient entry-level instrument for research, industrial processes and educational use.

Theta Lite has an open design that allows easy manipulation of samples and easy access to the instrument. As an optical instrument, all measurement depends on precision, high-quality imaging and effective analytical software. Attension optical tensiometers use a source of cold monochromatic LED light and a smooth lighting integration sphere that reduces sample evaporation. High image quality is guaranteed with a high-resolution digital camera and rapid data transfer between the computer and the instrument.

The system comes with OneAttension control software for analysis of drop shapes. It uses for example, the Young-Laplace equation as a reference method and can fit the entire drop profile. It offers performance and simplicity:

  • Automatic base line detection and drop shape fitting
  • Contact angle on curved surfaces (circular or near-circular)
  • Flexible and programmable frame per second rate recorded by the camera
  • Parameters and experimental settings such as material and liquid used can be saved as recipes for further use

OneAttension features an intuitive user interface, live analysis, configurable user groups and accounts and a preset liquid database. Any datapoint or groups of datapoints can be selected, transformed, plotted and analyzed. In-depth analysis takes seconds and data can be easily exported.

Measuring chambers, cuvettes and other accessories are available to add capabilities to your Theta Lite.

Here’s a comparison chart of the technical specifications of the Attension Theta contact angle meters product range.


Theta Lite
Theta QC

Available Measurements

Static contact angle
Dynamic contact angle
Automatic Manual
Surface/Interfacial tension
3D surface roughness
Interfacial rheology
Surface free energy
Zisman Plot, OWRK/Extended Fowkes, van Oss Acid-Base, Wu, Neumann’s Equation of State, Schultz 1 and 2

Available Measurement Methods

Sessile drop
Captive bubble
Pendant drop
Reverse pendant drop
Dynamic contact angle
Automatic Manual
Pulsating drop
3D Topography


Measuring range (°, mN/m)
0…180, 0.01…1000 0…180, 0.01…1000 0…180, –
Accuracy (°, mN/m)
±0.1, ±0.01 ±0.1, ±0.01 ±0.1, –
Maximum sample size (mm)
Unlimited×95×180 (with stage) Unlimited×50×200 (with stage) Unlimited
Frame interval (s)
0.43·10-3…1000 0.006…1000
Maximum resolution (px)
782×582 744×480 752×480
Maximum measuring speed (fps)
2315 160
Gigabit Ethernet digital camera with zoom USB digital camera Digital camera
Light source
LED based background lighting LED based background lighting LED based background lighting
Field of view (Ø, mm)
1…16.9 7 5.35
Dimensions — Basic frame (L×W×H, cm)
74×20×59 49.5×13×31 12.5×11.9×15.2
Weight — Basic frame (kg)
7.3 5 1.3
Power supply (VAC)
100…240 100…240 100…240 (3.7)
Frequency (Hz)
50…60 50…60 50…60

Drop Profile Fitting Method

Young-Laplace (CA, ST/IT, M)*
Bashforth-Adams (ST/IT)*
Circular (CA)*
Polynomial (CA, M)*


Provided software
OneAttension OneAttension Data transfer

System Requirements

Redommended system requirements
  • 2 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM1
  • 40 GB hard disk drive (20 GB free)
  • 1024×768 resolution
  • 1 USB-port2
  • 1 Gigabit Ethernet port (with Theta)

12 GB RAM recommended.
21 additional USB-port required with 3D topography module.

Operating system requirements
  • Windows 7 & 8 (32 or 64 bit)
  • Windows Vista (32 bit)
  • Windows XP SP3 (32 bit)


Optical tensiometers are used in a great variety of industries such as chemicalspharmaceuticals,electronicsfoodsenergypaper and packaging.

Theta Lite is a compact and robust optical tensiometer for simple and precise operations. It comes with a manual sample stage and liquid dispenser, making it a convenient entry-level instrument for routine measurements, educational use and quality control. It enables investigation of material properties such as: 

Application examples

Contact angle measurements in microfluidics

Microfluidics studies the behavior of fluids (liquid and gases) in micrometer scale structures. The behavior of fluids differs significantly when moving from macro-sized systems to micro-sized devices due to increased surface to volume ratio. Factors such as surface tension and fluidic resistance start to dominate the system. The main application areas for microfluidics are pharmaceutical and biological research as well as in diagnostics. Applications can also be found in the energy and electronic sectors.

Contact angle measurements are important in microfluidic research and quality control since surfaces with different wettabilities are often utilized in microfluidic chips.

For a more detailed example of contact angle measurements in microfluidics, see:

Contact angle for surface homogeneity and cleanliness control

There are several situations when a surface has to be optimally clean for processing or further use, for example semiconductor industry wafers and packaging materials for food and pharmaceutical products. The efficiency of cleaning formulations can be evaluated by determining how well a surface has been cleaned after it has been contaminated—for example, textiles, porcelain, windows, floor and wall tiles.

Contact angle is one of the most sensitive of all surface analytical techniques since already the top nanometer of the surface influences wetting behavior. Contact angle and surface free energy measurements are commonly utilized as a simple and fast measuring technique when studying surface heterogeneity and cleanliness. 

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