Nanoparticle Characterization using a Combination of Field-Flow Fractionation and Single Particle ICP-MS

Thorsten Klein, Postnova, Landsberg, Germany

The reliable detection, quantification and characterization of engineered nanoparticles are amongst the most essential issues when it comes to the comprehensive evaluation of potential risks for humans and environment associated with nanomaterials. Thereby, relevant parameters such as complex matrix effects as well as extremely low available concentrations quickly limit the application of traditional characterization methods such as e.g., optical and electron microscopy, light scattering or ultrafiltration. Nowadays, novel advanced techniques such as Field Flow Fractionation (FFF) and Single Particle (SP)-ICP-MS, both powerful characterization tools for nanomaterials, are more and more applied to overcome these limitations. [1,2] While FFF facilitates the simultaneous fractionation and size determination of nanoparticles [3], (SP)-ICP-MS additionally enables the differentiation of dissolved and nanoparticulate fractions of metals and metal oxides down to the ng L-1 regime [4].

In this study, we present the application of Asymmetrical Flow-FFF, Centrifugal FFF and (SP)-ICP-MS for the characterization of gold nanomaterials. Particular attention is thereby paid to the comparison of the different applied techniques in terms of reliable size determination, repeatability and sensitivity. The obtained results clrealy indicate the feasibility and additional information which can be obtained by the combination of FFF with (SP)-ICP-MS for the characterization of gold nanomaterials down to environmentally relevant concentrations.

[1] DM Mitrano, A Barber, A Bednar, P Westerhoff, CP Higgins and JF Ranville, J Anal At Spectrom, 2012, 27,1131-1142.

[2]MM Pornwilard and S Atitaya, J Anal At Spectrom, 2014, 29, 1739-1752.

[3] O Geiss, C Cascio, D Gilliland, F Franchini, J Barrero-Moreno, J Chrom A, 2013, 13231, 100-108

[4] DM Mitrano, JF Ranville, A Bednar, K Kazor, AS Hering and CP Higgins, Environ Sci Nano, 2014, 1, 248-259


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