Nanomaterials materials have unique physicochemical properties compared to their bulk analogs. They are increasingly incorporated into industrial processes and consumer products, including use as additives, drug delivery agents, and catalysts, to name just a few. Advances in nanomaterials have enabled exciting technological and scientific capabilities. However, the safety of nanomaterials still a topic of debate.
Reliable analytical techniques and methods are required to gain greater understanding of the behavior of nanoparticles and their potential risks. Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (sp- ICP-MS) is already employed as a tool for the rapid analysis of size and number concentration of inorganic nanoparticles at low environmentally relevant concentrations (ng/kg-µg/kg). The icpTOF extends the capabilities of traditional sp-ICP-MS to include multi-element analysis of single nanoparticles, which is critical for characterization of unknown or complex systems.
Supramolecular chemistry has developed into a very active and sophisticated field during the last decades, as recognized by the Nobel Prize awarded to Cram, Lehn and Pedersen. It focuses on highly complex self-assembled structures with applications in materials technology, catalysis, medicine and electronics. Structural characterization of the complexes still represents a major challenge; yet, it is crucial to know the geometry of these compounds to understand their physico-chemical properties. Classically, structural characterization is carried out by cumbersome X-ray crystallography or NMR.
Tofwerk’s IMS-TOF is an attractive alternative to these techniques as it is fast, requires only minute samples amounts and allows calculation of collision cross sections directly from ion mobility drift times consistent with the crystal structures and the hydrodynamic diameters.