Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Size Measurement of Nanoparticles Using Atomic Force Microscopy, ASTM E2859-11

Published

Author(s)

Jaroslaw Grobelny, Frank W. DelRio, Pradeep N. Namboodiri, Doo-In Kim, Vincent A. Hackley, Robert F. Cook

Abstract

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on the quantitative application of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to determine the size of nanoparticles2 deposited in dry form on flat substrates using height (z-displacement) measurement. Unlike electron microscopy, which provides a two-dimensional projection or a two-dimensional image of a sample, AFM provides a three-dimensional surface profile. While the lateral dimensions are influenced by the shape of the probe, displacement measurements can provide the height of nanoparticles with a high degree of accuracy and precision. If the particles are assumed to be spherical, the height measurement corresponds to the diameter of the particle. In this guide, procedures are described for dispersing gold nanoparticles on various surfaces such that they are suitable for imaging and height measurement via intermittent contact mode AFM. Generic procedures for AFM calibration and operation to make such measurements are then discussed. Finally, procedures for data analysis and reporting are addressed. The nanoparticles used to exemplify these procedures are National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reference materials containing citratestabilized negatively charged gold nanoparticles in an aqueous solution.
Citation
International Standard
Report Number
1200-7
Created January 2, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018