TECH CENTER ANNOUNCEMENT

Shared resources for analyzing elements and hydrodynamic size at UCLA CNSI Technology Center

The Nano and Pico Characterization Lab has added ICP optical emission spectrometer and dynamic light scattering plate reader

The Shimadzu ICPE-9000 has high sensitivity, down to the parts-per-billion level for 71 elements. Five to six orders of linear dynamic range allow for simultaneous measurement of a wide concentration of samples and for batch analysis of multiple elements.

Being able to determine a sample’s elemental makeup and to measure the size of particles in a suspension enables a sweeping range of investigations across scientific fields.

The former capability, achieved with inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), can reveal the composition of semiconductors and battery materials for electrical engineering and materials science; of microbes, blood and medicines for biomedical investigations; of catalysts and chemical products for chemistry; and of water and soil for environmental science.


The latter capability, accomplished with dynamic light scattering (DLS), is a boon to research into the environment and public health, pharmaceuticals, chemistry and biomedicine, with applications for drug discovery, characterization of proteins and other macromolecules, nanoparticle development and more.


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.


The ICPE-9000 has high sensitivity, down to the parts-per-billion level for 71 elements. Five to six orders of linear dynamic range allow for simultaneous measurement of a wide concentration of samples and for batch analysis of multiple elements.


“In collaboration with the NPC, we have used ICP-OES to identify critical impurities that degrade battery materials. By accurately controlling impurities, we have successfully scaled up our production to an industrial level over the past three years,” said Chun-Han (Matt) Lai, a battery scientist at the startup Battery Streak. “The NPC staff has been exceptionally helpful in providing prompt and detailed technical support, enabling us to quickly address production impurity issues. Their services have played a crucial role in our success in scaling up production to an industrial level while ensuring that the quality of our materials meets customer satisfaction.”


The instrument makes possible both qualitative analysis indicating whether atoms or ions of certain elements are present and quantitative analysis of elemental concentration using standard samples. The ICP emission spectrometer’s software automatically distinguishes noninterfering wavelengths from multiple wavelengths for each measurement sample. Together with automatic error-correction, it makes for simple and accurate measurement.

 

The automated DynaPro Plate Reader, with a up to 1,536 well plate, is ready for large-scale, high-throughput analysis and screening. Able to rapidly and simultaneously measurement up to 384 samples in a single plate, the device evaluates the hydrodynamic radius and diameter of compounds in suspension without perturbing or diluting samples, and without the need to know the concentration and molecular composition ahead of time.


The automated DynaPro Plate Reader, with a up to 1,536 well plate, is ready for large-scale, high-throughput analysis and screening. Able to rapidly and simultaneously measurement up to 384 samples in a single plate, the device evaluates the hydrodynamic radius and diameter of compounds in suspension without perturbing or diluting samples, and without the need to know the concentration and molecular composition ahead of time.


“The DynaPro Plate Reader HT-DLS system allows us to quickly assess particle size distribution, aggregation state and stability profiles of numerous nanomaterials in various biological media,” said Ivy Ji, director of research at Living Proof and former director of nanomaterial core at the UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. “This is an invaluable tool for nanomaterial screening in a time-effective manner — and particularly beneficial for our nanosafety research, where understanding the behavior of nanoparticles in biological environments is pivotal for an accurate toxicity assessment.”


The plate reader can scan samples with volumes as low as 4 microliters and concentrations as low as 0.25 milligrams per milliliter. The lower size limit for detection is 0.5 nanometers in radius and the upper limit is 1,000 nanometers. A wide range of samples and conditions can be screened in the same plate, with a temperature range of 4 to 70 degrees centigrade.


To seek general information, to arrange for a project consultation and proof of concept or to get training and assistance, contact the NPC Lab at 
npc@cnsi.ucla.edu.