Characterization of nanosized silica size standards

Shigeru Kimoto, William D. Dick, Ben Hunt, Wladyslaw W. Szymanski, Peter H. McMurry, Daryl L. Roberts, David Y.H. Pui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Nanosized silica size standards produced with a sol–gel synthesis process were evaluated for particle size, effective density, and refractive index in this study. Particle size and effective density measurements were conducted following protocol from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan. Particle sizes were measured via electrical mobility analysis using a differential mobility analyzer (DMA) at sheath flow rates (Qsh) of 3.0 and 6.0 L/min and a constant aerosol flow rate (Qa) of 0.3 L/min. The measured mean and mode diameters agreed well with the labeled sizes in the size range 40–200 nm, with differences ranging from 0.03% to 0.8%, well within the labeled expanded uncertainties (95% confidence intervals) of 1.8%–2.2%. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the size distribution was 0.012–0.027 for 40–200 nm. Particle sizes measured for 20 nm and 30 nm standards showed size differences with respect to the certified sizes of 1.7% and 8.3% at Qsh = 6.0 L/min, but the size distributions were narrow, with CV = 0.047–0.064. The average effective density for the range 40–200 nm measured with an aerosol particle mass analyzer (APM) was 1.9 g/cm3. The real component of the refractive index measured with an optical particle counter (OPC) was 1.41 at a wavelength of 633 nm. All properties (size, effective density, and refractive index) were stable and could be measured with good repeatability. From these evaluations, it was found that the nanosized silica size standards have good characteristics for use as size standards and constitute a feasible alternative to PSL particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)936-945
Number of pages10
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2017

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Association for Aerosol Research.


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