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Dr. Vincent A. Hackley (Fed)

Research Chemist


Field flow fractionation visualazation, engineered nanoparticle, silver nanoparticle RM
Figure 1: Field Flow Fractionation of Oligimers. Figure 2: Engineered Nanoscale Particle.  Figure 3:  Silver Nanoparticle Reference Material.


Dr. Hackley, a senior scientist in the Materials Measurement Science Division, led a multidisciplinary team on Nanoparticle Metrology for Health and the Environment, from 2006 to 2020. This effort focused on development of accurate and precise methods for the isolation, separation, characterization and quantification of engineered/manufactured nanoscale particles, their coatings, and their transformational progeny.

Engineered nanomaterials are functional objects that exist at length scales comparable to viruses and proteins, and exhibit unique physical, chemical and biological properties that can be exploited for new and enhanced products and applications across a wide range of industries. Most recent applications have included liposomal therapeutics, extracellular vesicles, nanocellulose and nanoplastics.

Dr. Hackley’s research emphasizes the use of innovative analytical concepts applied to nanotechnology-related measurement problems, combined with international and other-agency collaboration to achieve high-impact results. Principal techniques include multi-detector asymmetrical-flow field flow fractionation and electrospray-differential mobility analysis. He also leads efforts to produce nanotech reference materials that underpin metrology and commerce, and is a US delegate, subject matter expert, project leader and/or committee officer in international standards organizations, including ISO TC229 (Nanotechnologies), ISO TC24/SC4 (Particle Characterization), ASTM E56 (Nanotechnology) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Testing Program for Manufactured Nanomaterials. Dr. Hackley is a past member of the steering board for the International Symposium on Field- and Flow-based Separations. He is currently on the advisory board for the journal Environmental Science: Nano, the Scientific Oversight Committee for the National Cancer Institute’s Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, US lead for the EU-US Nanomedicine Collaboratory, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Dr. Hackley maintains active interactions with FDA, NIOSH, European Commission-Joint Research Centre in Geel and Ispra, NRC-Canada, NPL (UK), AIST (Japan), and diverse industry stakeholders.

Research Links

Research Interests

  • Physical-chemical property measurements for engineered and manufactured nanoscale materials  in applications ranging from consumer products to cancer therapeutics to environmental nanoplastics.
  • Measurements, standards, and reference materials to enable accurate assessment of the efficacy and potential risks associated with the manufacture and use of engineered nanoscale materials throughout their life-cycle.
  • Application of advanced analytical approaches to characterize the nanoscale-to-microscale structure of materials and their transformational progeny.
  • Regulatory science applied to nanotechnology products in support of US industry, from manufacturing to regulatory compliance 
  • Interfacial properties of nanoscale materials, including dispersion, stability and surface functionalization

Postdoctoral Research Opportunities

  • Advance the development and application of asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation based methods in nanomedicine and biomanufacturing.  Immediate opportunity.  For more information…
  • Explore the emerging field of "nanolytics". Contribute to the development of novel and advanced methods to quantify size-dependent physical and chemical properties of engineered nanoscale particles and their functional or adventitious coatings. Investigate the complex transformations of metal nanoparticles using hyphenated multi-detector techniques such as field flow fractionation, capillary electrophoresis and ion mobility analysis. Develop methods to detect and characterize manufactured nanomaterials in complex matrices. Apply these tools to study nano-based cancer therapeutics or the interaction of nanoparticles with biological systems. For more information...
  • Investigate the link between material properties and the potential environmental, health and safety risks associated with nanoscale particles during their life-cycle. Study how engineered nanoparticles interact with their environment, and how this alters their properties and fate. For more information...
  • Surface properties dominate the interactions of nanomaterials in their local environment, and increase in importance as dimensions grow smaller. These properties can have a dramatic impact on the form, functionality, and fate of nanomaterials used in consumer, industrial and biomedical products. Utilize state-of-the-art instrumentation to characterize and quantify the surface states, speciation and transformations that impact these properties. For more information...

NIST Reference Materials


  • Sigma Xi Research Society, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988
  • Department of Commerce Silver Medal (group) for scientific achievement, 2008
  • NIST Judson French Award for significant improvement in products delivered directly to industry, 2012
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015
  • ASTM International Committee E56, Award of Appreciation, 2019
  • NIST Bronze Medal (group) for achievement in measurement science, 2021
  • NIST B. Stephen Carpenter award for fostering international cooperation between standards bodies, industry, and government, 2022
  • ASTM International Committee E56, Award of Appreciation for outstanding service and dedicated leadership, 2023

Selected Publications

Sizing up the Next Generation of Nanomedicines

Jeffrey D. Clogston, Vincent A. Hackley, Adriele Prina-Mello, Sanyogitta Puri, Silvia Sonzini, Patrick Lim Soo
During the past two decades the field of nanomedicines has experienced significant progress. To date, over sixty nanoparticle (NP) formulations have been


Federal perspective on critical research issues in nanoEHS

Janet Carter, Sri Nadadur, Rhema Bjorkland, William Boyes, Chuck Geraci, Vincent A. Hackley, John Howard, Alan Kennedy, Igor Linkov, Joanna Matheson, Holly Mortensen, Custudio Muinga, Elijah Petersen, Nora Savage, Stacey Standridge, Trey Thomas, Benjamin Trump
This article discusses critical issues and opportunities going forward in nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (nanoEHS) research from the

Polyethyleneimine/polyethylene glycol–conjugated gold nanoparticles as nanoscale positive/negative controls in nanotoxicology: Testing in frog embryo teratogenesis assay–Xenopus and mammalian tissue culture system

Vytas Reipa, Alessandro Tona, Feng Yi, Bryant C. Nelson, David A. LaVan, Vincent A. Hackley, Tae Joon Cho
Despite the great potential of using positively charged gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) in nanomedicine, no systematic studies have been reported on their synthesis
Created October 9, 2019, Updated June 13, 2023