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Michael R. Winchester

Michael's research activities at NIST have focused on several areas, including glow discharge optical emission spectrometry (GD-OES) for bulk elemental and depth profile analyses of solid materials, Fourier Transform atomic emission spectroscopy (FT-AES) for fundamental studies of analytical plasmas and accurate determinations of spectral wavelengths, and the use of differential mobility analyzers (DMAs), aerosol electrometers, and other aerosol metrology equipment for making accurate, traceable measurements of aerosol concentrations and particle sizes. Michael's current research activities are focused on the development of methodologies for accurate, traceable physical and chemical characterizations of nanoparticles that are engineered for a wide variety of applications (e.g., functionalized gold nanoparticles used for modern cancer therapies). He also has a strong research program concerned with developing unique approaches to the use of inductively-coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to enable very accurate chemical analyses with very strong traceability links to the International System of Units (SI).

Michael has contributed to the development and certification of a range of NIST Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) over the years. He is now Technical Project Leader for more than 75 SRMs, including the well-known SRM 3100 Series of spectrometric solution standards. Currently, Michael is the leader of the Spectrochemical Methods team within the Inorganic Chemical Metrology Group.  He has authored or co-authored more than 60 presentations at major scientific conferences and more than 25 peer-reviewed publications, as well as chapters for four edited volumes. He has been active on committees of the ASTM International and the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) for approximately the past 15 years.


  • Spectrochimica Acta Atomic Spectroscopy Award, 1993
  • United States Department of Commerce Silver Medal Award, 2008

Membership and Professional Activities:

  • American Chemical Society, Member – 1988 to 1992
  • Society for Applied Spectroscopy, Member – 1988 to 1997
    - Alternate Delegate, Baltimore/Washington Section – 1993 to 1994
    - Delegate, Baltimore/Washington Section – 1994 to 1995
  • ASTM International E42 Surface Chemical Analysis
    - Expert – 1994 to present
  • ISO TC201 Surface Chemical Analysis           
  • ISO TC201/SC1 Terminology
    - United States Delegate – 1998 to present
  • ISO TC201/SC8 Glow Discharge Spectrometry
    - United States Delegate – 1994 to present
    - Chair, Advisory Group on Reference Materials – 1995 to 1999         
  • ISO/TC201/SC8/WG1 Characterization of Coatings Working Group
    - United States Expert – 1998 to present


Agglomeration of Escherichia coli with positively charged nanoparticles can lead to artifacts in a standard Caenorhabditis elegans toxicity assay

Shannon Hanna, Antonio R. Montoro Bustos, Alexander W. Peterson, Vytautas Reipa, Leona D. Scanlan, Sanem Hosbas Coskun, Tae Joon Cho, Monique E. Johnson, Vincent A. Hackley, Bryant C. Nelson, Michael R. Winchester, John T. Elliott, Elijah J. Petersen
The increased use and incorporation of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in consumer products requires a robust assessment of their potential environmental
Created October 9, 2019