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Elisabeth Mansfield

Research Chemist


Dr. Mansfield received her B.S. in chemistry from Colorado State University (2002), and her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Arizona (2007). She joined NIST in 2007, received a National Research Council postdoctoral associateship at NIST in 2008, and was then appointed to the staff in 2010.  She is active in standards development including ISO, ASTM and NIST Reference Materials. In her research areas, she has published over 30 papers. She has also been active in the local section of the American Chemical Society. Her current research is focused on 2D materials and scanning electron microscopy.

Google Scholar Citation Page

Research Interests:

Microscale and Conventional Thermal Analysis

Dr. Mansfield has worked on the development of a microscale thermogravimetric analyzer (micro-TGA) since she began at NIST in 2007. Microscale-TGA is based on piezoelectric materials, which can be used to determine the mass of a sample on the order of a microgram. The initial work in this area was based on cycling the piezoelectric microbalances in a furnace. This work was published in Analytical Chemistry, along with supporting publications on nanomaterial analysis in conventional TGA systems. After successful measurements, Dr. Mansfield began work towards characterization of nanoparticle surface coatings using microscale TGA. Simultaneously, development of the instrumentation to include continuous measurements in a tube furnace, as well as continuous measurements where the heater is built into the piezoelectric have been pursued. A good summary of this work can be found in the following SPIE Newsroom article:

E. Mansfield, T. Quinn "Microscale thermogravimetric analysis for determining nanoparticle purity and surface coverage" SPIE Newsroom, 2011, doi: 10.1117/2.1201102.003528.

Dr. Mansfield also has a strong interest in characterization of materials using TGA. She has participated in international round robin evaluations of nanomaterial reference materials, as well as providing certifying measurements for the single-wall carbon nanotube NIST Standard Reference Material. Along with extensive carbon nanotube characterization, she has characterized biochar as part of a partnership with the University of Colorado- Boulder's Environmental Engineering Department, nanoparticle composites with Kansas State University and cellulose materials for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Dr. Mansfield serves on the ASTM Committee on Thermal Analysis (E37) as secretary of the committee and chair of the Reference Material subcommittee.

Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion

Dr. Mansfield was part of an interdisciplinary team at NIST studying microbiologically influenced corrosion in alternative fuel environments. This team was working to develop laboratory-based corrosion measurement methodologies to generate quantitative models of corrosion and damage accumulation in alternative fuel systems with microbial activity. Early detection and intervention strategies for microbiologically influenced corrosion (MIC) will result from characterization of corrosion phenomena at the microscale, where bacteria are active. Dr. Mansfield used quartz crystal microbalances (QCM), microbiological characterization tools, and optical/fluorescence microscopy are used to characterize key aspects of MIC that present potential intervention and mitigation targets. Organisms from ethanol fuel environments, including acid producers, sulfate reducers and iron oxidizers were the primary microbes under investigation at NIST. Their impact on materials, such as those used in manufacturing, storage and transport of alternative fuels, was evaluated. Through this development, intervention and prevention strategies can be developed.

Biointerface and Nanomaterial Surface Analysis:

Characterization of the interaction between biological materials and their environment has always been an interest of Dr. Mansfield's. Her graduate research examined the interactions between phospholipids and surfaces, along with understanding complex biological binding events for analyte detection. At NIST, this research has focused on understanding the interactions between materials and biological environments. To accomplish this, Dr. Mansfield has studied nanomaterials in tissue engineering scaffolds to evaluate nanotoxicity in a pseudo-in vivo environment. She has also studied nanoparticle uptake in mammalian cells, silver nanoparticle interactions with E.coli, and microbiologically influenced corrosion of pipeline materials using quartz crystal microbalances. This work has been extended into the characterization of enzymes for biomass conversion with collaborators at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Phase Equilibria

Dr. Mansfield has measured bubble-points of binary fluid systems.  She developed novel instrumentation for the measurement of bubble-points with low uncertainty.  The newest VLE apparatus to measure bubble-points has been in use since 2015.  She has measured the binary systems butane + octane, butane+ nonane and propane + decane to support the natural gas industry.  These measurements were followed by binary measurements of compounds present in pyrolysis bio-oil including furan, 2-methylfuran and methanol.  The new apparatus will be used to study siloxanes to understand their role as Organic Rankine Cycle fluids.



  • U.S. IUPAC Young Observer (2015)
  • Silver Medal, Department of Commerce/NIST (2014)

For pioneering work in carbon nanotube purification, measurements, and standards that enable application of this remarkable material by U.S. industry

  • Bronze Medal, Department of Commerce/NIST (2013)

For extending thermogravimetric analysis to the microscale, enabling characterization of nanoparticles, their coatings, and purity

  • David F. O’Brien Fellowship, Department of Chemistry, University of Arizona (2006)
  • University of Arizona Foundation Award for Meritorious Performance in Teaching, College of Science, University of Arizona (2005)


Thermophysical Properties of Polyol Ester Lubricants

Thomas J. Bruno, Tara J. Fortin, Marcia L. Huber, Arno D. Laesecke, Eric W. Lemmon, Elisabeth Mansfield, Mark O. McLinden, Stephanie L. Outcalt, Richard A. Perkins, Kimberly N. Urness, Jason A. Widegren
This report summarizes the results of work performed for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division by the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Created October 9, 2019