Nanoparticle number concentration measurements by multi-angle dynamic light scattering

We present the use of Multi-angle Dynamic Light Scattering (MADLS®) for the measurement of nanoparticle concentration. We describe the theory of the method and its application to nanoparticles made of gold, silica and polystyrene, with diameters ranging from 30 to 400 nm, and demonstrate some of the limitations with particles of sizes 500 nm and above. We evaluate the method accuracy, linearity and reproducibility, as well as the operational nanoparticle concentration and size range. We show that the concentration working range depends on the material’s optical properties, size and concentration. Here it is shown that the level of accuracy that can be expected for the concentration of particles is typically within 50% of the nominal value across a range of materials and sizes and, for some samples, within 20%. The repeatability of the measurements, in terms of relative standard deviation, is typically below 30%. A linearity of within 40% across a concentration range of 3·108 to 2·1011 mL−1 for concentration measurements was also demonstrated by using gold nanoparticles and gravimetric dilutions for method validation. Overall, we show that MADLS® is a rapid and straightforward method for the reproducible measurement of particle concentration, as well as size, requiring minimal sample preparation, without the need to calibrate using a pre-determined concentration series, and applicable to a broad range of materials. These features make it an ideal tool to support both development and quality control of particle materials for a broad range of applications.


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