Instantaneous physico-chemical analysis of suspension-based nanomaterials. Academic Article uri icon


  • High-throughput manufacturing of nanomaterial-based products demands robust online characterization and quality control tools capable of continuously probing the in-suspension state. But existing analytical techniques are challenging to deploy in production settings because they are primarily geared toward small-batch ex-situ operation in research laboratory environments. Here we introduce an approach that overcomes these limitations by exploiting surface complexation interactions that emerge when a micron-scale chemical discontinuity is established between suspended nanoparticles and a molecular tracer. The resulting fluorescence signature is easily detectable and embeds surprisingly rich information about composition, quantity, size, and morphology of nanoparticles in suspension independent of their agglomeration state. We show how this method can be straightforwardly applied to enable continuous sizing of commercial ZnO nanoparticles, and to instantaneously quantify the anatase and rutile composition of multicomponent TiO2 nanoparticle mixtures pertinent to photocatalysis and solar energy conversion.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

author list (cited authors)

  • Meng, F., & Ugaz, V. M.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Meng, Fanxu||Ugaz, Victor M

publication date

  • April 2015