Analytical characterization methods for nanomaterials
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Environmental nanoscience research group at the UoB
Dr. Sophie Marie Briffa read for a BSc (Hons.) in Chemistry with Materials (2011) and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering…
The number of manufactured nanomaterials (MNMs) entering the market in everyday products is continuously increasing. These products range from health care to electronics, cosmetics and foodstuff. This increased use of MNMs results in greater environmental release and the potential long-term environmental impact of MNMs still remains poorly understood. As a result, concerns regarding the exposure to humans and other organisms arise. To ensure the safe advancement of market available nano-enabled products, a strong legislative framework is required. However, one of the major difficulties for developing this legislative framework is the ability to obtain reliable and reproducible characterisation information about the MNMs and their behaviour. This information is vital in order to simplify and facilitate hazard and exposure descriptions and allow for the development of a MNM grouping framework. Obtaining this information requires skillful and exceptionally knowledgeable operators who are familiar with the entire panoply of techniques available. These techniques include DLS, UV-VIS, ICP-OES, NTA and BET, among many others. Indeed, even “simple” characterisation of inter-laboratory comparisons produce astonishingly inconsistent data amongst participants. The main difficulty encountered producing these inconsistencies is ambiguity in method interpretation between instrument operators. Consequently, this methods collection series invites researchers with well-established standard operating procedures for analytical characterisation methodologies to submit their method focused contributions to help reduce method interpretation ambiguity and increase standardisation between operators and laboratories.