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News article29 April 2019

How to select the best technique to identify nanomaterials

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How to select the best technique to identify nanomaterials
© © VAlex – stock.adobe.com

JRC scientists have developed, together with partners from the NanoDefine project, a unique categorisation scheme which matches material properties with the capabilities of techniques for particle size measurement.

If more than half of the particles of a material are smaller than 100 nm, the material is a nanomaterial according to the EC's nanomaterial definition. This means that they are subject to particular regulatory provisions, e.g. safety assessment, authorisation or product labelling.

But which measurement techniques(s) should be used when there are dozens of sizing methods available and possibly thousands of different nanomaterials to be measured?

After all, each technique has its region of applicability in terms of material classes, material properties and the accessible size range etc. None of the available techniques is suitable for all materials. Thus the choice of the appropriate method is very challenging.

The new material categorisation scheme matches the experimental capabilities of particle measurement techniques with the particle properties that are most important for a determination of their size. Thus it:

  • allows selecting the most appropriate size determination technique for every type of material considered
  • enables proper identification of nanomaterials
  • has the potential to be accepted by regulators, industries and consumers alike.
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How to select the best technique to identify nanomaterials
© EC, 2019

Having such a scheme in place facilitates the regulatory assessment of nanomaterials and fosters the safe trade of nanomaterials.

Read more in:

Gaillard C. et al., A technique-driven materials categorisation scheme to support regulatory identification of nanomaterials. Nanoscale Advances, 2019, 1 , 781-791.

DOI: 10.1039/C8NA00175H

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A technique-driven materials categorisation scheme to support regulatory identification of nanomaterials

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Publication date
29 April 2019