Analytical characterization of engineered ZnO nanoparticles relevant for hazard assessment

  • Adina BragaruEmail author
  • Mihaela Kusko
  • Eugeniu Vasile
  • Monica Simion
  • Mihai Danila
  • Teodora Ignat
  • Iuliana Mihalache
  • Razvan Pascu
  • Florea Craciunoiu
Research Paper


The optoelectronic properties of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) have determined development of novel applications in catalysis, paints, wave filters, UV detectors, transparent conductive films, solar cells, or sunscreens. While the immediate advantages of using nano-ZnO in glass panel coatings and filter screens for lamps, as protecting products against bleaching, have been demonstrated, the potential environmental effect of the engineered NPs and the associated products was not fully estimated; this issue being of utmost importance, as these materials will be supplied to the market in quantities of tons per year, equating to thousands of square meters. In this study, ZnO-NPs with commercial name Zincox™ have been subjected to a comprehensive characterization, relevant for hazard assessment, using complementary physico-chemical methods. Therefore, the morphological investigations have been corroborated with XRD pattern analyses and UV–Vis absorption related properties resulting an excellent correlation between the geometrical sizes revealed by microscopy (8.0–9.0 nm), and, respectively, the crystallite size (8.2–9.5 nm) and optical size (7.8 nm) calculated from the last two techniques’ data. Furthermore, the hydrodynamic diameter of ZnO-NPs and stability of aqueous dispersions with different concentration of nanoparticles have been analyzed as function of significant solution parameters, like concentration, pH and solution ionic strength. The results suggest that solution chemistry exerts a strong influence on ZnO dissolution stability, the complete set of analyses providing useful information toward better control of dosage during biotoxicological tests.


ZnO Nanoparticles Size Hydrodynamic diameter Surface charge Dispersion stability 



The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement No. 247989 (NanoSustain—Development of sustainable solutions for nanotechnology-based products based on hazard characterization and LCA). The authors want to thank to Dr. Adrian Dinescu and Veronica Schiopu for SEM and FT-IR characterizations.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adina Bragaru
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mihaela Kusko
    • 1
  • Eugeniu Vasile
    • 2
  • Monica Simion
    • 1
  • Mihai Danila
    • 1
  • Teodora Ignat
    • 1
  • Iuliana Mihalache
    • 1
  • Razvan Pascu
    • 1
  • Florea Craciunoiu
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of NanobiotechnologyNational Institute for Research and Development in MicrotechnologiesBucharestRomania
  2. 2.SC METAV CDBucharestRomania

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