Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) operated in single particle mode is an attractive analytical tool capable of both sizing and counting metal containing nanoparticles in aqueous suspensions. In this study, we have evaluated the performance of single particle-ICP-MS (spICP-MS) for gold nanoparticle (AuNPs) characterization. Instrument operating parameters, test solution concentration and data processing were optimized for accurate size and particle number concentration measurement. We demonstrate that short measurement dwell time induces severe particle splitting between adjacent dwells, and the optimal dwell time, limiting both splitting and coincident particle events, is 10 ms. A pre-established protocol for particle size calculation using the measured aerosol transport efficiency and soluble standard calibration was examined over a range of AuNPs diameters from 10 nm to 200 nm. Finally, size measurements were performed on heterogeneous Au solutions containing both soluble Au and AuNPs.
Proceedings Title: Nanotech Conference Technical Proceedings
Conference Dates: May 12-16, 2013
Conference Location: Washington, DC
Conference Title: Nanotech Conference 2013
Pub Type: Conferences
Single particle ICP-MS, nanomaterial characterization, gold nanoparticles