By Gary Thomas
The NIST has introduced a new nanoscale reference material that is actually a commercial titanium oxide popularly known as “P25.” After some careful modifications to the titanium oxide, the product is offered in its nanocrystalline form and available as a dry powder. This new form of nanomaterial in white pigment can be used as a sterilizing agent, photocatalyst, and as an ultraviolet blocker in sunscreen lotions.
TEM image shows the nanoscale crystalline structure of titanium dioxide in NIST SRM 1898 (color added for clarity.) Credit: Impellitteri/EPA
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is widely known in the chemical market as a manufacturer of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs). The Institute offers around 1,300 SRMs that are released into the market after they have been satisfactorily passed through standard quality check. These reference materials are useful test samples for checking the quality and accuracy of instruments and test methods. The SRMs find their application in industries such as electronics, clinical chemistry, clinical forensics, environmental monitoring, and in manufacturing industries.
Mr. Vincent Hackley, the NIST chemist assures that the chemical does not contain any toxicant and assures that it can be safely used in any environmental study that focuses on the study of morphologic, elemental composition, and surface area of any nanomaterial under concern. To assist in its proper use, NIST also has developed protocols for properly preparing samples for environmental or toxicological studies.
The Brunauer-Emmet-Teller (BET) gas sorption method remains as the standard method for checking most of the analytical instruments. The new NIST reference material is suitable for this BET method. The nanoscale reference material is focused on checking the impact of nanomaterials on the safety, health, and environmental factors. By carefully following the standard protocols devised by the NIST in the proper handling of the new product, samples for environmental or toxicological studies can be successfully prepared.