Particle tracking analysis (PTA) is an emerging technique suitable for size analysis of particles with external dimensions in the nano- and sub-micrometre scale range. Only limited attempts have so far been made to investigate and quantify the performance of the PTA method for particle size analysis. This article presents the results of a validation study during which selected colloidal silica and polystyrene latex reference materials with particle sizes in the range of 20 nm to 200 nm were analysed with NS500 and LM10-HSBF NanoSight instruments and video analysis software NTA 2.3 and NTA 3.0. Key performance characteristics such as working range, linearity, limit of detection, limit of quantification, sensitivity, robustness, precision and trueness were examined according to recommendations proposed by EURACHEM. A model for measurement uncertainty estimation following the principles described in ISO/IEC Guide 98-3 was used for quantifying random and systematic variations. For nominal 50 nm and 100 nm polystyrene and a nominal 80 nm silica reference materials, the relative expanded measurement uncertainties for the three measurands of interest, being the mode, median and arithmetic mean of the number-weighted particle size distribution, varied from about 10% to 12%. For the nominal 50 nm polystyrene material, the relative expanded uncertainty of the arithmetic mean of the particle size distributions increased up to 18% which was due to the presence of agglomerates. Data analysis was performed with software NTA 2.3 and NTA 3.0. The latter showed to be superior in terms of sensitivity and resolution.
Journal of Nanoparticle Research – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 4, 2017
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