A microbalance is an instrument capable of making precise measurements of weight of objects of relatively small mass: of the order of a million parts of a gram. In comparison, a standard analytical balance is 100 times less sensitive; i.e. it is limited in precision to 0.1 milligrams max. Microbalances are generally used in a laboratory as standalone instruments but are also incorporated into other instruments, such as thermogravimetry, sorption/desorption systems, and surface property instruments. It is the precision of the microbalance that distinguishes it from other weighing devices.
An analytical balance is a class of balance designed to measure small mass in the sub-milligram range. The measuring pan of an analytical balance (0.1 mg or better) is inside a transparent enclosure with doors so that dust does not collect and so any air currents in the room do not affect the balance's operation. This enclosure is often called a draft shield. The use of a mechanically vented balance safety enclosure, which has uniquely designed acrylic airfoils, allows a smooth turbulence-free airflow that prevents balance fluctuation and the measure of mass down to 1 μg without fluctuations or loss of product. Also, the sample must be at room temperature to prevent natural convection from forming air currents inside the enclosure from causing an error in reading. Single pan mechanical substitution balance maintains consistent response throughout the useful capacity is achieved by maintaining a constant load on the balance beam, thus the fulcrum, by subtracting mass on the same side of the beam to which the sample is added.
Electronic analytical scales measure the force needed to counter the mass being measured rather than using actual masses. As such they must have calibration adjustments made to compensate for gravitational differences. They use an electromagnet to generate a force to counter the sample being measured and outputs the result by measuring the force needed to achieve balance. Such measurement device is called electromagnetic force restoration sensor.
Is a table top scale with high precision and accuracy. Such scales give a readability of 0.001g (1mg), 0.01g and 0.1 g. The same type of scales that used in gold and jewelry shops with 0.01g as division.