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20 September 2013 Detection limits for nanoparticles in solution with classical turbidity spectra
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Detection of nanoparticles in solution is required to manage safety and environmental problems. Spectral transmission turbidity method has now been known for a long time. It is derived from the Mie Theory and can be applied to any number of spheres, randomly distributed and separated by large distance compared to wavelength. Here, we describe a method for determination of size, distribution and concentration of nanoparticles in solution using UV-Vis transmission measurements. The method combines Mie and Beer Lambert computation integrated in a best fit approximation. In a first step, a validation of the approach is completed on silver nanoparticles solution. Verification of results is realized with Transmission Electronic Microscopy measurements for size distribution and an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for concentration. In view of the good agreement obtained, a second step of work focuses on how to manage the concentration to be the most accurate on the size distribution. Those efficient conditions are determined by simple computation. As we are dealing with nanoparticles, one of the key points is to know what the size limits reachable are with that kind of approach based on classical electromagnetism. In taking into account the transmission spectrometer accuracy limit we determine for several types of materials, metals, dielectrics, semiconductors the particle size limit detectable by such a turbidity method. These surprising results are situated at the quantum physics frontier.
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G. Le Blevennec "Detection limits for nanoparticles in solution with classical turbidity spectra", Proc. SPIE 8819, Instrumentation, Metrology, and Standards for Nanomanufacturing, Optics, and Semiconductors VII, 881905 (20 September 2013);

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