Improving Accuracy of Single particle ICPMS for Measurement of Size Distributions and Number Concentrations of Nanoparticles by Determining Analyte Partitioning During Nebulisation

Jani Tuoriniemi, Geert Cornelis and Martin Hasselloev
J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2014
DOI: 10.1039/C3JA50367D


Application of single particle ICP-MS (spICPMS) for measurement of size and number concentration, cp of nanoparticles is currently hampered by insufficient accuracy. The relative contributions of different types of noise to the overall uncertainty during spICP-MS measurements of Ag and Au nanoparticle dispersions were quantified showing that the accuracy of spICP-MS is mainly limited by the uncertainty in nebulization efficiency (fneb). This uncertainty was improved by correcting fneb for analyte partitioning effects during nebulization, and the calculated Ag and Au nanoparticle sizes were in close agreement with sizes determined by scanning electron microscopy. The duration of the particle events was measured, which allowed to correct for incomplete particle events, detector dead time, and to determine the effective dwell time for particle counting. The cp measured with spICPMS agreed with that measured by counting particles deposited on filters, and calculated from the mass concentration of analyte.

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