Particle & Surface Sciences Australia reports on the latest news from Nanosight UK on how Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA) is being used in the characterization of the physical and interfacial properties of manufactured nano materials.
Dr Jonathan Brant is the leader of the group, ‘Interfaces in the Environment: membranes, particles and nanotechnology’ in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wyoming. The group focuses on problems associated with physicochemical processes in engineered and natural environmental systems.
As is the case for environmental engineering as a whole, their work falls at the junction of many different disciplines, including colloid and interface science, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, microbiology and materials science.
Nanomaterials need to be characterized in terms of their size and distribution. Dr Brant explains that they have two primary research tracts. First, they characterize the properties of manufactured nano materials including TiO2, nano-Ag, C60 and maghemite of varying functionalities in aqueous systems. Secondly, they characterize the transformation of manufactured nano materials and their removal in conventional and advanced water treatment processes.
In both instances, NTA was chosen to characterize the size and size distribution of the particle suspensions under varying conditions. Describing his practical choices for NTA, Dr Brant says that he also uses a dynamic light scattering (DLS) system from Malvern as well as TEM imaging (particle counting and geometry assessments from images). Using NTA allows the group to work with polydisperse suspensions providing them with a number count for nano materials, which is a first step to better characterizing nanoparticle concentrations.
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