National Physical Laboratory

Nanoparticles Characterisation - Transmission Electron Microscopy with Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy & Dynamic Light Scattering

Transmission Electron Microscope
Transmission Electron Microscope

Nanoparticles are a current area of intense scientific research as they are a bridge between atomic and bulk structures. We are coordinating a network of European national metrology institutes to provide new traceable standards and procedures to determine the size, shape and distribution of nanoparticles with an accuracy of better than 1 nm. A suite of methods including Electron Microscopy (SEM and TEM), Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) are used to investigate the particle size, shape and their physical properties.The NPL Microfluidics facility - an NPL designed Microparticle Image Velocimeter - is also used to analyse the flow of nanoparticle-seeded liquids in micron-sized channels.

  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)
    Our 200keV TEM can work in the normal TEM mode or in STEM mode. A state-of-the-art Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy system allows imaging of light elements (carbon, oxygen, etc.) which is difficult using traditional TEM due to their inability to scatter electrons. This system can also provide chemical elements mapping with nanometre resolution.

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
    Field Emission Gun SEM with chemical analysis capability (EDX).

  • Dynamic Light Scattering
    Used to measure the size distribution of nanoparticles in liquid suspension down to 1 nanometre. NPL use a multi-angle (from 10 to 170 º), cross-correlation system to reduce uncertainty on the measurement.


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Last Updated: 14 Jul 2015
Created: 27 Jul 2009


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