ERDC Characterization of Nanomaterials using FFF-ICP-MS and SP-ICP-MS



December 29, 2015

The present film was created by the US Army Engineers Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS for the Environmental Consequences of Nanomaterials focus area. For a step-by-step guide of the characterization shown here, visit for a full SOP.

Characterization of nanomaterials must include analysis of both size and chemical composition. Field Flow Fractionation (FFF) is a powerful tool for determining the size of nanoparticles. Through the use of a combination of common detectors, such as UV-VIS (Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometry) absorbance, with advanced methods, such as ICP-MS (Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry), high-resolution nanoparticle sizing and compositional analysis at the μg/L concentration level can be obtained. Single particle counter ICP-MS (SP-ICP-MS) has increased sensitivity compared to Field Flow Fractionation Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (FFF-ICP-MS), with detection and sizing concentrations of ng/L. Such low-level detection and characterization capability is critical to nanomaterial investigations at biologically and environmentally relevant concentrations.This film describes the SOP (Scientific Operating Procedure) for analysis of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), through the various separation and detection techniques described above. These analytical tools were tested on a variety of gold and silver standard nanoparticles that have been extensively characterized.

Analytical TechniquesDiagnosticsForensic ScienceMass Spectrometry

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