Nanomaterial Characterisation Challenges

P.G. Kippax, P.G. Clarke, C.C. Murphy, M. Kaszuba
Malvern Instruments Ltd, UK

Keywords: nanotechnology, nanomaterials, toxicological, physico-chemical, size, aggregate, agglomerate, dynamic light scattering, field flow fractionation

Summary:

There has been a large amount of research and investment into the toxicological effects of nanomaterials on the environment and there is – as yet – no definitive findings on the relative weighting and importance of different Physico –chemical parameters. However research has indicated that important (nanoparticle) parameters to monitor / consider include size, shape, surface area, surface energy and surface chemistry. One of the more recent developments in this area is the European Commission definition from 2011 of the term “nanomaterial”. Within this context and background we review some of the latest development activity using light scattering techniques and separations devices aimed at addressing the requirements for number based (quantitative) measurement on Nanomaterials. The work focuses on the characterisation of metallic nanoparticles (silver, gold) and how separation devices (FFF, GPC, Fluidics) can be combined with dectectors to offer an improvement in the resolution in line with the demands of the EU nanomaterials definition.