RSC-NPL Symposium: Nanoparticle concentration – critical needs and state-of-the-art measurement

24 April 2018 09:30-17:30, London, United Kingdom


Symposium Format and Topics

Nanoparticles are increasingly used in innovative products manufactured by advanced industries and provide enhanced, unique properties of great commercial and societal value. The measurement of number concentration of particles in colloidal suspension is of major commercial interest as it enables the optimisation of materials specification and design, and is essential for risk assessment and quality control. It also supports compliance with regulation and underpins any claim to reliability, performance and lifetime in the formulation of products containing particles.

In recent years, there have been substantial advances in the ability to directly measure particle concentration in colloidal suspension. However, no formal evaluation and validation of available techniques have taken place and nanoparticle reference materials that are certified for number concentration do not yet exist.

This one-day symposium organised by the Analytical Division East Anglia Region of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will bring together academics, measurement experts, instrument manufacturers, nanomaterials producers and industries interested in their use and applications to:
  • Discuss the state-of-the-art of nanoparticle analysis with focus on nanoparticle number concentration.
  • Present new methods to measure absolute nanoparticle concentration with low uncertainty, alongside the capabilities of a range of commercially available instrumentation.
  • Identify needs and potential pathways to address current limitations in methods, reference materials and protocols.
  • Discuss industrial requirements in the framework of product development, regulatory requirements and the development of standards.
The outputs of the workshop will be used as input to a variety of international efforts related to measurements of nanomaterials, including national standards organisations, VAMAS and ISO Technical Committees on Nanotechnology.

This symposium will be followed on Wednesday 25 April by an open day, at the same location, dedicated to the outcomes of the European project Innanopart – Metrology for Innovative Nanoparticle – of the European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation (EMPIR). Themes that will be presented and discussed are measurements of nanoparticle concentration, agglomeration and surface chemistry. Attendees are invited to attend this event free of charge. More details are below.


 Call for Papers and Registration

The meeting is now open for papers. You are welcome to present your research in the form of a poster during the duration of the meeting. Please send the title and abstract of your presentation to Caterina Minelli ( by 15th March 2018. Posters should be prepared in A1 format. The attendees who will also be attending the Innanopart Open day on 25th April are welcome to leave the posters on display until the conclusion of the events on 25th April.

Registration to the Symposium is now open. The number of participants at the symposium will be limited to around 120 so please register in advance to avoid disappointment. The symposium registration fee covers workshop delegate pack, refreshments and lunch. An optional dinner will take place in the evening in London.

The organisers will offer student bursaries of £100 up to a maximum of 10 to attend the Symposium. The RSC Analytical Division East Anglia Region Committee will consider any such applications, which should be sent by email to the event organiser Caterina Minelli in the first place, together with a statement of merit and the contact details of a referee.
  • RSC and Innanopart members and collaborators: £100
  • Students: £70
  • Early Bird registration: £140
  • Full registration: £160
  • Exhibition fee (inclusive of one attendance): £400
  • Symposium Dinner £70
  • Innanopart Open Day on 25 April: Free
Companies that wish to exhibit at the symposium should contact Caterina Minelli ( at the earliest convenience.

 Innanopart open day on 25 April 2018

All attendees of the Symposium are invited to attend the EMPIR Innanopart project Open Say, which will also take place on 25 April at the RSC headquarters at Burlington House in central London.

Speakers include:
Alex Shard (NPL, UK): The Innanopart project
Dorota Bartczak (LGC, UK): Number-based concentration measurements of polydispersed samples with PTA
Konstantina Vasilatou (METAS, Switzerland): Metrological characterisation of the Electrospray-Differential Mobility method for the determination of nanoparticle number concentration in colloids
Caterina Minelli (NPL, UK): Concentration of nanoparticles by UV-Vis spectroscopy and Differential Centrifugal Sedimentation
Tbc (DFM, Denmark): Applying hollow core photonic crystal fibre for optical characterisation of nanoparticles
Karen Murphy (NIST, USA): Measuring nanoparticle concentration using single particle ICP-MS
Vasile-Dan Hodoroaba (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany): Lessons on measurement of nanoparticle size and shape learnt from NanoDefine
Uwe Schedler (PolyAn, Germany): Surface characterisation of particles for Life Science applications – an industry perspective
David Cant (NPL, UK): Measuring core-shell particles: ideality compared to reality
Anja Hermanns (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany): Determining the shell thickness of core-shell nanoparticles using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM)
Wolfgang Werner (Technical University Vienna, Austria): Use of the inelastic background in XPS: fundamentals and practical applications
Ute Resch-Genger (Federal Institute for Material Research and Testing, Germany): Simple and Versatile Methods for Quantifying Functional Groups, Ligands, and Biomolecules on Nanomaterials

The specific technical objectives of Innanopart which will be discussed are to:
  • Develop traceable measurement and calibration protocols to measure particle number concentrations in liquid suspension with a target relative uncertainty of better than 10 % for spherical particles in the size range 1 nm to 1000 nm.
  • Develop methods to quantify the number concentration of particles in partially agglomerated or aggregated states within a liquid suspension of otherwise monodisperse primary particles and the ability to measure number concentration of particles with a non-spherical shape.
  • Develop standard procedures to traceably measure the chemical composition and thickness of the nanoparticle shell, both to within 10 % uncertainty.
  • Conduct two (VAMAS) inter-laboratory studies to establish a good practice guide for industry and thereby establish laboratory-scale methods to enable valid, routine monitoring and quality control of particle concentration and surface chemistry for nanoparticle-based formulations and products.
  • Engage with industry that manufactures and/or exploits nanoparticles in order to facilitate the uptake of the technology and measurement infrastructure developed by the project, to support the development of new, innovative products, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of EU industry.During the meeting, the outcomes of the project will be presented by the project partners and ample time will be dedicated to discussion and interaction among stakeholders.
Registration to this meeting is free of charge and can be made when registering for the symposium. If you have any questions, please contact Caterina Minelli (
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
We are always looking for sponsors for this event. Please get in touch with the event organiser Caterina Minelli if you are interested (

This workshop is supported by the UK National Measurement System (NMS) of the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and by the European Union (EU) through the European Metrology Programme for Research and Innovation (EMPIR). EMPIR is jointly funded by EMPIR-participating countries within EURAMET and the EU.
This symposium is endorsed by the European Materials Characterisation Council (EMCC).
The Royal Society of Chemistry

Library, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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