Measurement methods for the European Commission definition of nanomaterials

D. Gilliland, F. Rossi, L. Calzolai
European Commission, IT

Keywords: nanomaterial, definition, flow field flow, size measurement


Nanoparticles are used in several consumer products currently on the market including food and cosmetics. To clarify the legislative landscape the European Commission has published in 2011 its recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial. The recommendation calls for the measurement of the number based nanoparticle size distribution. This definition does present great challenges for the measurement of the number-based particle size distribution especially in complex matrices, such as for example food or cosmetic products[2-3]. In this talk I will give an overview of the current state of the art for the size measurement of particles in the submicron range with a particular emphasis on the various techniques that could be used to address the challenging problem of measuring the particle size distribution of complex samples. Finally, I will present our approach based on the combination of size separation, size measurement, and chemical identification techniques that has shown a great potential for solving this challenging problem [4]. In particular I will focus on our most recent results on the combination of flow field flow fractionation with multi detector analysis (UV-VIS, MALS, DLS, ICP-MS) for the determination of the particle size distribution of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles.