Nanotechnologies - Vocabulary - Part 6: Nano-object characterization

This document defines terms related to the characterization of nano-objects in the field of nanotechnologies.
It is intended to facilitate communication between organizations and individuals in research, industry and other interested parties and those who interact with them.

Nanotechnologies - Vocabulaire - Partie 6: Caractérisation des nano-objets

Le présent document définit les termes relatifs à la caractérisation des nano-objets dans le domaine des nanotechnologies.
Il est destiné à faciliter la communication entre les organismes, les chercheurs, les industriels, les autres parties intéressées et leurs interlocuteurs.

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TECHNICAL ISO/TS
SPECIFICATION 80004-6
Second edition
2021-03
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary —
Part 6:
Nano-object characterization
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulaire —
Partie 6: Caractérisation des nano-objets
Reference number
ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
ISO 2021
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
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© ISO 2021

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ii © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions (General terms) ........................................................................................................................................ 1

4 Terms related to size and shape measurement .................................................................................................................... 3

4.1 Terms related to measurands for size and shape ...................................................................................................... 3

4.2 Terms related to scattering techniques ............................................................................................................................. 4

4.3 Terms related to aerosol characterization ...................................................................................................................... 6

4.4 Terms related to separation techniques ........................................................................................................................... 7

4.5 Terms related to microscopy ...................................................................................................................................................... 9

4.6 Terms related to surface area measurement .............................................................................................................12

5 Terms related to chemical analysis ................................................................................................................................................13

6 Terms related to measurement of other properties ....................................................................................................18

6.1 Terms related to mass measurement ...............................................................................................................................18

6.2 Terms related to thermal measurement ........................................................................................................................18

6.3 Terms related to crystallinity measurement ..............................................................................................................19

6.4 Terms related to charge measurement in suspensions ....................................................................................19

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................21

Index .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................23

© ISO 2021 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www .iso .org/ directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www .iso .org/ patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the

World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see www .iso .org/

iso/ foreword .html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 229, Nanotechnologies, in collaboration

with Technical Committee IEC/TC 113, Nanotechnology for electrotechnical products and systems

and with the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical Committee CEN/TC 352,

Nanotechnologies, in accordance with the Agreement on technical cooperation between ISO and CEN

(Vienna Agreement).

This second edition cancels and replaces the first edition (ISO/TS 80004-6:2013), which has been

technically revised throughout.
A list of all parts in the ISO/TS 80004 series can be found on the ISO website.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www .iso .org/ members .html.
iv © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
Introduction

Measurement and instrumentation techniques have effectively opened the door to modern

nanotechnology. Characterization is key to understanding the properties and function of all nano-

objects.

Nano-object characterization involves interactions between people with different backgrounds

and from different fields. Those interested in nano-object characterization might, for example, be

materials scientists, biologists, chemists or physicists, and might have a background that is primarily

experimental or theoretical. Those making use of the data extend beyond this group to include

regulators and toxicologists. To avoid any misunderstandings, and to facilitate both comparability and

the reliable exchange of information, it is essential to clarify the concepts, to establish the terms for use

and to establish their definitions.
The terms are classified under the following broad headings:
— Clause 3: General terms;
— Clause 4: Terms related to size and shape measurement;
— Clause 5: Terms related to chemical analysis;
— Clause 6: Terms related to measurement of other properties.

These headings are intended as a guide only, as some techniques can determine more than one property.

Subclause 4.1 lists the overarching measurands that apply to the rest of Clause 4. Other measurands are

more technique-specific and are placed in the text adjacent to the technique.

It should be noted that most techniques require analysis in a non-native state and involve sample

preparation, e.g. placing the nano-objects on a surface or placing them in a specific fluid or vacuum.

This could change the nature of the nano-objects.

The order of the techniques in this document should not be taken to indicate a preference and the

techniques listed in this document are not intended to be exhaustive. Equally, some of the techniques

listed in this document are more popular than others in their usage in analysing certain properties of

nano-objects. Table 1 lists alphabetically the common techniques for nano-object characterization.

Subclause 4.5 provides definitions of microscopy methods and related terms. When abbreviated terms

are used, note that the final “M”, given as “microscopy”, can also mean “microscope” depending on the

context. For definitions relating to the microscope, the word “method” can be replaced by the word

“instrument” where that appears.

Clause 5 provides definitions of terms related to chemical analysis. For these abbreviated terms, note

that the final “S”, given as “spectroscopy”, can also mean “spectrometer” depending on the context. For

definitions relating to the spectrometer, the word “method” can be replaced by the word “instrument”

where that appears.

This document is intended to serve as a starting reference for the vocabulary that underpins

measurement and characterization efforts in the field of nanotechnologies.
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)

Table 1 — Alphabetical list of the common techniques for nano-object characterization

Property Common techniques
Size centrifugal liquid sedimentation (CLS)
atomic-force microscopy (AFM)
differential mobility analysing system (DMAS)
dynamic light scattering (DLS)
variants of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
particle tracking analysis (PTA)
scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Shape atomic-force microscopy (AFM)
scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
Surface area Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) method
“Surface” chemistry Raman spectroscopy
secondary-ion mass spectrometry (SIMS)
X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
Chemistry of the energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX)
“bulk” sample
inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)
nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy
Crystallinity selected area electron diffraction (SAED)
X-ray diffraction (XRD)
Electrokinetic electrophoretic mobility
potential in
suspensions
vi © ISO 2021 – All rights reserved
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TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary —
Part 6:
Nano-object characterization
1 Scope

This document defines terms related to the characterization of nano-objects in the field of

nanotechnologies.

It is intended to facilitate communication between organizations and individuals in research, industry

and other interested parties and those who interact with them.
2 Normative references
There are no normative references in this document.
3 Terms and definitions (General terms)

ISO and IEC maintain terminological databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at http:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
nanoscale
length range approximately from 1 nm to 100 nm

Note 1 to entry: Properties that are not extrapolations from a larger size are predominantly exhibited in this

length range.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-1:2015, 2.1]
3.2
nano-object

discrete piece of material with one, two or three external dimensions in the nanoscale (3.1)

Note 1 to entry: The second and third external dimensions are orthogonal to the first dimension and to each other.

[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-1:2015, 2.5]
3.3
nanoparticle

nano-object (3.2) with all external dimensions in the nanoscale (3.1) where the lengths of the longest

and the shortest axes of the nano-object do not differ significantly

Note 1 to entry: If the dimensions differ significantly (typically by more than three times), terms such as nanofibre

(3.6) or nanoplate (3.4) may be preferred to the term “nanoparticle”.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 4.4]
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
3.4
nanoplate

nano-object (3.2) with one external dimension in the nanoscale (3.1) and the other two external

dimensions significantly larger

Note 1 to entry: The larger external dimensions are not necessarily in the nanoscale.

Note 2 to entry: See 3.3, Note 1 to entry.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 4.6]
3.5
nanorod
solid nanofibre (3.6)
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 4.7]
3.6
nanofibre

nano-object (3.2) with two external dimensions in the nanoscale (3.1) and the third dimension

significantly larger

Note 1 to entry: The largest external dimension is not necessarily in the nanoscale.

Note 2 to entry: The terms “nanofibril” and “nanofilament” can also be used.
Note 3 to entry: See 3.3, Note 1 to entry.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 4.5]
3.7
nanotube
hollow nanofibre (3.6)
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 4.8]
3.8
quantum dot

nanoparticle (3.3) or region which exhibits quantum confinement in all three spatial directions

[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-12:2016, 4.1, modified — Note 1 to entry has been deleted.]

3.9
particle
minute piece of matter with defined physical boundaries
Note 1 to entry: A physical boundary can also be described as an interface.
Note 2 to entry: A particle can move as a unit.
Note 3 to entry: This general particle definition applies to nano-objects (3.2).
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 3.1]
3.10
agglomerate

collection of weakly or medium strongly bound particles (3.9) where the resulting external surface area

is similar to the sum of the surface areas of the individual components

Note 1 to entry: The forces holding an agglomerate together are weak forces, for example van der Waals forces or

simple physical entanglement.

Note 2 to entry: Agglomerates are also termed “secondary particles” and the original source particles are termed

“primary particles”.
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 3.4]
3.11
aggregate

particle (3.9) comprising strongly bonded or fused particles where the resulting external surface area

is significantly smaller than the sum of surface areas of the individual components

Note 1 to entry: The forces holding an aggregate together are strong forces, for example covalent or ionic bonds,

or those resulting from sintering or complex physical entanglement, or otherwise combined former primary

particles.

Note 2 to entry: Aggregates are also termed “secondary particles” and the original source particles are termed

“primary particles”.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 80004-2:2015, 3.5]
3.12
aerosol
system of solid and/or liquid particles (3.9) suspended in gas
[SOURCE: ISO 15900:2020, 3.1]
3.13
suspension

heterogeneous mixture of materials comprising a liquid and a finely dispersed solid material

[SOURCE: ISO 4618:2014, 2.246]
3.14
dispersion

multi-phase system in which discontinuities of any state (solid, liquid or gas: discontinuous phase) are

distributed in a continuous phase of a different composition or state

Note 1 to entry: This term also refers to the act or process of producing a dispersion; in this context the term

“dispersion process” should be used.

Note 2 to entry: If solid particles (3.9) are distributed in a liquid, the dispersion is referred to as a suspension (3.13).

If the dispersion consists of two or more immiscible liquid phases, it is termed an “emulsion”. A suspoemulsion

consists of both solid and liquid phases distributed in a continuous liquid phase.

[SOURCE: ISO/TR 13097:2013, 2.5, modified — In the definition, “in general, microscopic” has been

deleted and “distributed” has replaced “dispersed”. Notes 1 and 2 to entry have replaced the original

Note 1 to entry.]
4 Terms related to size and shape measurement
4.1 Terms related to measurands for size and shape
4.1.1
particle size

linear dimension of a particle (3.9) determined by a specified measurement method and under specified

measurement conditions

Note 1 to entry: Different methods of analysis are based on the measurement of different physical properties.

Independent of the particle property actually measured, the particle size can be reported as a linear dimension,

e.g. as the equivalent spherical diameter.
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
4.1.2
particle size distribution

distribution of the quantity of particles (3.9) as a function of particle size (4.1.1)

Note 1 to entry: Particle size distribution may be expressed as cumulative distribution or a distribution density

(distribution of the fraction of material in a size class, divided by the width of that class).

Note 2 to entry: The quantity can be, for example, number, mass or volume based.
4.1.3
particle shape
external geometric form of a particle (3.9)

[SOURCE: ISO 3252:2019, 3.1.59, modified — “powder” has been deleted before “particle”.]

4.1.4
aspect ratio
ratio of length of a particle (3.9) to its width
[SOURCE: ISO 14966:2019, 3.7]
4.1.5
equivalent diameter

diameter of a sphere that produces a response by a given particle-size measurement method that is

equivalent to the response produced by the particle (3.9) being measured

Note 1 to entry: Physical properties are, for example, the same settling velocity or electrolyte solution displacing

volume or projection area under a microscope. The physical property to which the equivalent diameter refers

should be indicated using a suitable subscript (see ISO 9276-1:1998), e.g. subscript “V” for equivalent volume

diameter and subscript “S” for equivalent surface area diameter.

Note 2 to entry: For discrete-particle-counting, light-scattering instruments, an equivalent optical diameter is used.

Note 3 to entry: Other parameters, e.g. the effective density of the particle in a fluid, are used for the calculation

of the equivalent diameter such as Stokes diameter or sedimentation equivalent diameter. The parameters used

for the calculation should be reported additionally.

Note 4 to entry: For inertial instruments, the aerodynamic diameter is used. Aerodynamic diameter is the

diameter of a sphere of density 1 000 kg m that has the same settling velocity as the particle in question.

4.2 Terms related to scattering techniques
4.2.1
radius of gyration

measure of the distribution of mass about a chosen axis, given as the square root of the moment of

inertia about that axis divided by the mass

Note 1 to entry: For nano-object (3.2) characterization, physical methods that measure radius of gyration to

determine particle size (4.1.1) include static light scattering, small-angle neutron scattering (4.2.2) and small-angle

X-ray scattering (4.2.4).
[SOURCE: ISO 14695:2003, 3.4, modified — Note 1 to entry has been added.]
4.2.2
small-angle neutron scattering
SANS

method in which a beam of neutrons is scattered from a sample and the scattered neutron intensity is

measured for small angle deflection

Note 1 to entry: The scattering angle is usually between 0,5° and 10° in order to study the structure of a material

on the length scale of approximately 1 nm to 200 nm. The method provides information on the sizes of the

particles (3.9) and, to a limited extent, the shapes of the particles dispersed in a homogeneous medium.

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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
4.2.3
neutron diffraction

application of elastic neutron scattering for the determination of the atomic or magnetic structure

of matter

Note 1 to entry: The neutrons emerging from the experiment have approximately the same energy as the incident

neutrons. A diffraction pattern is formed that provides information on the structure of the material.

4.2.4
small-angle X-ray scattering
SAXS

method in which the elastically scattered intensity of X-rays is measured for small-angle deflections

Note 1 to entry: The angular scattering is usually measured within the range 0,1° to 10°. This provides structural

information on macromolecules as well as periodicity on length scales typically larger than 5 nm and less than

200 nm for ordered or partially ordered systems.

[SOURCE: ISO 18115-1:2013, 3.18, modified — Notes 2 and 3 to entry have been deleted.]

4.2.5
light scattering

change in propagation of light at the interface of two media having different optical properties

4.2.6
hydrodynamic diameter

equivalent diameter (4.1.5) of a particle (3.9) in a liquid having the same diffusion coefficient as a

spherical particle with no boundary layer in that liquid

Note 1 to entry: In practice, nanoparticles (3.3) in solution can be non-spherical, dynamic and solvated.

Note 2 to entry: A particle in a liquid will have a boundary layer. This is a thin layer of fluid or adsorbates close

to the solid surface, within which shear stresses significantly influence the fluid velocity distribution. The fluid

velocity varies from zero at the solid surface to the velocity of free stream flow at a certain distance away from

the solid surface.
4.2.7
dynamic light scattering
DLS
photon correlation spectroscopy
PCS
DEPRECATED: quasi-elastic light scattering
DEPRECATED: QELS

method in which particles (3.9) in a liquid suspension (3.13) are illuminated by a laser and the time

dependant change in intensity of the scattered light due to Brownian motion is used to determine

particle size (4.1.1)

Note 1 to entry: Analysis of the time-dependent intensity of the scattered light can yield the translational

diffusion coefficient and hence the particle size as the hydrodynamic diameter (4.2.6) using the Stokes–Einstein

relationship.

Note 2 to entry: The analysis is applicable to nanoparticles (3.3) as the size of particles detected is typically in the

range 1 nm to 6 000 nm. The upper limit is due to limited Brownian motion and sedimentation.

Note 3 to entry: DLS is typically used in dilute suspensions where the particles do not interact amongst

themselves.
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
4.2.8
nanoparticle tracking analysis
NTA
particle tracking analysis
PTA

method in which particles (3.9) undergoing Brownian and/or gravitational motion in a suspension (3.13)

are illuminated by a laser and the change in position of individual particles is used to determine particle

size (4.1.1)

Note 1 to entry: Analysis of the time-dependent particle position yields the translational diffusion coefficient and

hence the particle size as the hydrodynamic diameter (4.2.6) using the Stokes-Einstein relationship.

Note 2 to entry: The analysis is applicable to nanoparticles (3.3) as the size of particles detected is typically in the

range 10 nm to 2 000 nm. The lower limit requires particles with high refractive index and the upper limit is due

to limited Brownian motion and sedimentation.

Note 3 to entry: NTA is often used to describe PTA. NTA is a subset of PTA since PTA covers larger range of

particle sizes than nanoscale (3.1).
4.2.9
static multiple light scattering
SMLS

technique in which transmitted or backscattered light intensity is measured after multiple successive

scattering events of incident light in a random scattering medium
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 21357:— , 3.1]
4.3 Terms related to aerosol characterization
4.3.1
condensation particle counter
CPC

instrument that measures the particle (3.9) number concentration of an aerosol (3.12) using a

condensation effect to increase the size of the aerosolized particles

Note 1 to entry: The sizes of particles detected are usually smaller than several hundred nanometres and larger

than a few nanometres.

Note 2 to entry: A CPC is one possible detector suitable for use with a differential electrical mobility classifier

(DEMC) (4.3.2).

Note 3 to entry: In some cases, a condensation particle counter may be called a “condensation nucleus

counter (CNC)”.
[SOURCE: ISO/TS 12025:2012, 3.2.8, modified — Note 4 to entry has been deleted.]
4.3.2
differential electrical mobility classifier
DEMC

classifier able to select aerosol (3.12) particles (3.9) according to their electrical mobility and pass them

to its exit

Note 1 to entry: A DEMC classifies aerosol particles by balancing the electrical force on each particle with its

aerodynamic drag force in an electrical field. Classified particles are in a narrow range of electrical mobility

determined by the operating conditions and physical dimensions of the DEMC, while they can have different sizes

due to difference in the number of charges that they have.
[SOURCE: ISO 15900:2020, 3.11]
1) Under preparation. Stage at the time of publication: ISO/DTS 21357:2020.
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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
4.3.3
differential mobility analysing system
DMAS

system to measure the size distribution of submicrometre aerosol (3.12) particles (3.9) consisting of a

differential electrical mobility classifier (DEMC) (4.3.2), flow meters, a particle detector, interconnecting

plumbing, a computer and suitable software
[SOURCE: ISO 15900:2020, 3.12]
4.3.4
Faraday-cup aerosol electrometer
FCAE

system designed for the measurement of electrical charges carried by aerosol (3.12) particles (3.9)

Note 1 to entry: A FCAE consists of an electrically conducting and electrically grounded cup as a guard to cover

the sensing element that includes aerosol filtering media to capture charged aerosol particles, an electrical

connection between the sensing element and an electrometer circuit, and a flow meter.

[SOURCE: ISO 15900:2020, 3.15, “system” has replaced “electrometer” and “aerosol particles” has

replaced “an aerosol” in the definition.]
4.4 Terms related to separation techniques
4.4.1
field-flow fractionation
FFF

separation technique whereby a field is applied to a suspension (3.13) passing along a narrow channel

in order to cause separation of the particles (3.9) present in the liquid, dependent on their differing

mobility under the force exerted by the field

Note 1 to entry: The field can be, for example, gravitational, centrifugal, a liquid flow, electrical or magnetic.

Note 2 to entry: Using a suitable detector after or during separation allows determination of the size and size

distribution of nano-objects (3.2).
4.4.2
asymmetrical-flow field-flow fractionation
AF4

separation technique that uses a cross flow field applied perpendicular to the channel flow to achieve

separation based on analyte diffusion coefficient or size

Note 1 to entry: Cross flow occurs by means of a semipermeable (accumulation) wall in the channel, while cross

flow is zero at an opposing nonpermeable (depletion) wall.

Note 2 to entry: By comparison, in symmetrical flow, the cross flow enters through a permeable wall (frit) and

exits through an opposing semipermeable wall and is generated separately from the channel flow.

Note 3 to entry: Nano-objects (3.2) generally fractionate by the “normal” mode, where diffusion dominates and

the smallest species elute first. In the micrometre size range, the “steric-hyperlayer” mode of fractionation is

generally dominant, with the largest species eluting first. The transition from normal to steric-hyperlayer mode

can be affected by material properties or measurement parameters, and therefore is not definitively identified;

however, the transition can be defined explicitly for a given experimental set of conditions; typically, the

transition occurs over a particle size (4.1.1) range from about 0,5 µm to 2 µm.

Note 4 to entry: Including both normal and steric-hyperlayer modes, the technique has the capacity to separate

particles (3.9) ranging in size from approximately 1 nm to about 50 µm.

[SOURCE: ISO/TS 21362:2018, 3.4, modified — The abbreviated term “AF4” has been added.]

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ISO/TS 80004-6:2021(E)
4.4.3
centrifugal field-flow fractionation
CF3

separation technique that uses a centrifugal field applied perpendicular to a circular channel that spins

around its axis to achieve size separation of particles (3.9) from roughly 10 nm to roughly 50 µm

Note 1 to entry: Separation is governed by a combination of size and effective particle d

...

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