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Validation of a Homogeneous Incremental Centrifugal Liquid Sedimentation Method for Size Analysis of Silica (Nano)particles

Abstract: 

Silica nanoparticles display many unique physicochemical properties that make them desirable for use in awide variety of consumer products and compositematerials. Accurately measuring the size of these nanoparticles is important for achieving the desired nanoscale functionality of the final product and for regulatory compliances. This study covers the validation of a centrifugal liquid sedimentation method for accurate measurement of the Stokes diameter of silica particles with a near-spherical shape and dimensions in the nanometer and sub-nanometer scale range. The validated method provided unbiased results in the range of 50 nm to 200 nm, with a lower limit of detection of 20 nm. The relative standard uncertainties for precision, quantified in terms of repeatability and day-to-day variation, ranged from 0.2% to 1.0% and from <0.1% to 0.5%, respectively. The standard uncertainty for trueness was assessed at 4.6%. Within its working range, the method was found robust with respect to the type of cuvette, light factor, operator, and for defining the meniscus of the sample suspension. Finally, a relative expanded measurement uncertainty of 10% confirmed the satisfactory performance of the method.