Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory

An unprecedented collection of instrumentation from surface to elemental analysis at the nanoscale and beyond.

Nano and Pico Characterization (NPC) Laboratory


The NPC Technology Center offers a curated collection of high-end scientific instrumentation to enable the physicochemical characterization of nanoscale materials, devices, and systems under a wide range of experimental conditions.  Our technical capabilities and expertise include surface analysis by Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM); hydrodynamic size and surface charge analysis by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and Zeta Potential (ZP) measurements; elemental and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS).

Application Areas:

  • Biomaterials
  • Semiconductors and devices
  • Energy harvesting/storage
  • (Nano)drug delivery
  • Environment
  • Food

Physicochemical Properties:

  • Surface analysis
    • Topography & roughness
    • Electrical & magnetic
    • Mechanical
  • Shape, size, dispersity
  • Dissolution kinetics
  • Compositional and isotopic analysis

Available Instruments:

  • Scanning Probe Microoscopy 
  • Optical Profilometry
  • Dynamic Light Scattering
  • Electrokinetic Analysis
  • Zeta Potential
  • ICP – Optical Emmision Spectrometry
  • ICP – Mass Spectrometry

Featured News

NPC DLS Event 2/12/2024

NPC DLS Event 2/12/2024

Dynamic light scattering (DLS) is a light scattering measurement that measures the diffusion behavior of nanoparticles and macromolecules and is a valuable rapid screening tool for size, aggregation, and interaction parameters. This event will review the theory behind DLS and how to apply the theory practically to nanoparticle analysis.

November 29, 2023 | Shared resources for analyzing elements and hydrodynamic size at UCLA CNSI Technology Center

November 29, 2023 | Shared resources for analyzing elements and hydrodynamic size at UCLA CNSI Technology Center

Now, instruments for ICP-OES and DLS are online at the Nano and Pico Characterization (NPC) Laboratory, an open-access Technology Center of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. The Shimadzu ICPE-9000 multitype ICP-OES and the Wyatt Technology DynaPro Plate Reader are the only instruments of their types on UCLA’s campus that are available for shared use. At the NPC Lab, these devices, along with assistance from expert staff, are available to researchers from UCLA, other academic institutions and industry partners.