John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Characterization of cerium oxide nanoparticles—Part 1: Size measurements

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The present study gives an overview of some of the major aspects for consideration in the characterization of nanomaterials (NMs). Part 1 focuses on the measurement of particle size and size‐related parameters using several analytical techniques such as transmission electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, X‐ray diffraction, and Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller surface area measurements as applied to commercially available cerium oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and microparticles (MPs). Part 2 (see companion paper) considers nonsize‐related characterization and analysis. The results are discussed in relation to the nature of the sample and preparation, and the analytical principles, limitations, and advantages of each technique. Accurate information on the particle size of the different fractions of a sample can be obtained by using a combination of different types of microscopy, spectroscopy, separation, and other techniques; this should inform ecotoxicological and environmental studies. The good agreement between the measured primary particle size of the NPs (∼15 nm) by atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X‐ray diffraction, and Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller suggests that the primary particles are formed of semispherical single crystals. For MPs, all measurements agree that they are large particles in the range above the NPs (100 nm), with some difference between the measured sizes, possibly as a result of polydispersity effects. Additionally, our findings suggest that atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy prepared by centrifugation methods provide consistent data at low concentrations when dynamic light scattering fails. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012; 31: 983–993. © 2012 SETAC

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