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Mass correlation spectroscopy for mass- and size-based nanoparticle characterization in fluid.

MPS-Authors
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Modena,  M. M.
Research Group of Biological Micro- and Nanotechnology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Burg,  T. P.
Research Group of Biological Micro- and Nanotechnology, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Modena, M. M., & Burg, T. P. (2015). Mass correlation spectroscopy for mass- and size-based nanoparticle characterization in fluid. Journal of Applied Physics, 118(22): 224901. doi:10.1063/1.4937151.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-0A27-A
Abstract
The characterization of nanoparticles is an important problem in many areas of applied physics, chemistry, medicine, and biology. Micromechanical resonators with embedded fluidic channels represent a powerful new technology for particle characterization through direct measurement of the buoyant mass of nanoparticles in solution with attogram resolution (1 ag = 10−18 g). We recently showed that correlation analysis greatly expands the range of applications by enabling measurements of mass even when the individual particles are far lighter than the conventional detection limit. Here, we extend the concept of mass correlation spectroscopy further to simultaneously measure the ensemble-averaged size and mass of nanoparticles by exploiting size-dependent differences in hydrodynamic dispersion. To do so, we first derive an approximate model of the dispersion of finite-size particles flowing through a microfluidic channel of rectangular cross-section, valid in a large range of dispersion regimes. By including this solution into the model describing the correlation function of the time-domain mass signal acquired with a micromechanical resonator, information on particle size can be obtained during mass characterization without requiring any modification of the devices. The validity of the analysis is corroborated both by numerical simulations and experimental measurements on nanoparticles of different materials ranging from 15 nm to 500 nm.