Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 405, Issue 7, pp 2279–2288

Real-time size discrimination and elemental analysis of gold nanoparticles using ES-DMA coupled to ICP-MS

  • Sherrie Elzey
  • De-Hao Tsai
  • Lee L. Yu
  • Michael R. Winchester
  • Michael E. Kelley
  • Vincent A. Hackley
Paper in Forefront

DOI: 10.1007/s00216-012-6617-z

Cite this article as:
Elzey, S., Tsai, DH., Yu, L.L. et al. Anal Bioanal Chem (2013) 405: 2279. doi:10.1007/s00216-012-6617-z

Abstract

We report the development of a hyphenated instrument with the capacity to quantitatively characterize aqueous suspended gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) based on a combination of gas-phase size separation, particle counting, and elemental analysis. A customized electrospray-differential mobility analyzer (ES-DMA) was used to achieve real-time upstream size discrimination. A condensation particle counter and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) were employed as downstream detectors, providing information on number density and elemental composition, respectively, of aerosolized AuNPs versus the upstream size selected by ES-DMA. A gas-exchange device was designed and optimized to improve the conversion of air flow (from the electrospray) to argon flow required to sustain the ICP-MS plasma, the key compatibility issue for instrumental hyphenation. Our work provides the proof of concept and a working prototype for utilizing this construct to successfully measure (1) number- and mass-based distributions; (2) elemental compositions of nanoparticles classified by size, where the size classification and elemental analysis are performed within a single experiment; (3) particle concentrations in both solution (before size discrimination) and aerosol (after size discrimination) phases; and (4) the number of atoms per nanoparticle or the nanoparticle density.

Keywords

DMAElectrosprayGoldNanoparticleICP-MSQuantitative analysis

Supplementary material

216_2012_6617_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (569 kb)
ESM 1(PDF 569 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherrie Elzey
    • 1
  • De-Hao Tsai
    • 1
  • Lee L. Yu
    • 2
  • Michael R. Winchester
    • 2
  • Michael E. Kelley
    • 2
  • Vincent A. Hackley
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Measurement Science DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA
  2. 2.Chemical Sciences DivisionNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA