Procedure: spICP-MS analysis of chemically labelled or core-shell ENMs

University of Birmingham utilises a PerkinElmer NexION 300D spICP-MS instrument. The following analytic procedure has been applied to silver shelled gold core (Au@Ag) ENMs and Ho@TiO2 core-shell ENMs.

  1. ENM stock solutions were diluted with MilliQ water to concentrations of around 50,000 particles mL-1 which is within the range of detection of the NexION 300D. 
  2. The particles were analysed for each element and the size was calculated from the spICP-MS results, by converting the volume occupied by each component to an overall volume and size.

Mechanisms & Methods

Used for

Transport efficiency of the instrument was determined using 20 nm, 40 nm, and 80 nm gold nanoparticles from BBi solutions diluted to 50,000 particles per mL by serial dilution in MilliQ water.  NIST gold 1 part per billion (1 ppb which is equivalent to 1 mg/L), 2 ppb and 3 ppb ion standards, and 40 nm and 80 nm Ag ENMs from BBi solutions were used to calibrate the NexION 300D for analysis of each element in the Au@Ag particles. Individual NIST holmium and titanium, 1 ppb, 2 ppb and 3 ppb ion standards from Aristar were used to calibrate the NexION 300D for analysis of each element in the Ho@TiO2 ENMs. 

Pristine Particle: Ho@TiO2

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Read also


Core-shell NaHoF4@TiO2 NPs: A Labelling Method to Trace Engineered Nanomaterials of Ubiquitous Elements in The Environment. Cui X, Fryer B, Zhou D, Lodge R, Khlobystov A, Valsami-Jones E, Lynch I. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019, 11, 19452-19461.

Analysis of SiO2 Nanoparticles in Standard Mode with Single Particle ICP-MS. PerkinElmer Application Note, undated.



Benjamin Fryer

University of Birmingham





Iseult Lynch

University of Birmingham