Instrument for particle generation in the nanometer range uses minimal sample quantities and achieves very high product recovery rates. The nanoscale spray dryer is designed to evaluate drying during the early stages of product development in the pharmaceutical, food, advanced materials, and nanotechnology industries for aqueous or solvent-based formulations. The droplet generation is based on a piezoelectric driven actuator which vibrates a thin, perforated membrane in a small spray cap. The membrane features an array of micron-sized holes. The actuator is driven at ultrasonic frequency, causing the membrane to vibrate, creating precisely sized droplets with very narrow droplet distribution.