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Table 3 Applicability of a range of analytical techniques to providing specific physicochemical information on engineered nanomaterials, in the context of toxicity screening studies

From: Principles for characterizing the potential human health effects from exposure to nanomaterials: elements of a screening strategy

  Analytical technique
   Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) X-ray Photon Spectroscopy (XPS) Auger Spectroscopy (AES) Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) Scanning Probe Microscopy Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) Zeta potential Size Exclusion Chromatography Analytical Ultracentrifugation Differential Mobility Analysis (DMA) Isothermal Adsorption (e.g. BET) Spectroscopic techniques (UV vis, IR, Raman, NMR) Elemental analysis (eg ICP-MS/AA etc)
Physicochemical Characteristic Size distribution (primary particles)          
  Shape             
  Surface area           
  Composition          
  Surface chemistry           
  Surface contamination              
  Surface charge – suspension/solution               
  Surface charge – powder (use bio fluid surrogate)               
  Crystal structure             
  Particle physicochemical structure              
  Agglomeration state          
  Porosity              
  Heterogeneity              
  1. Other applicable techniques are available that have not been listed.
  2. ▲Highly applicable
  3. Capable of providing information in some cases
  4. Capable of providing information in some cases, with validation from more accurate/applicable techniques
  5. Capable of providing qualitative or semi-quantitative information