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NCL Capabilities and Instrumentation

Below is a representative list of the capabilities and instruments commonly utilized by the NCL in the characterization of submitted nanomaterials; this is not an exhaustive list. For more detailed information about our instrumentation capabilities please contact the NCL at

The mention of trade names and manufacturers is for informational purposes only. The NCL does not endorse any of the suppliers listed below. Equivalent instrumentation from alternate vendors can be substituted.

Chemical Characterization

  • Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)
    • Agilent 5550 SPM with tapping and contact mode, liquid cell imaging, environment and temperature control, PicoTrec recognition force mapping
  • CEM Reaction Microwave (Mars X 230/60)
  • Chromatography
    • Combi-Flash (Teledyne)
    • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) with UV-vis, Fluorescence, and Charged Aerosol Detectors (Agilent)
    • HPLC with Diode Array UV/vis, Fluorescence, and Refractive Index Detectors (Shimadzu)
    • Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (UHPLC) with Diode Array UV/vis, Fluorescence, and Charged Aerosol Detectors (Thermo Fisher)
    • ÄKTAPrime Plus Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography (FPLC) (Amersham/Pharmacia)
    • ÄKTABasic 10 FPLC (Amersham/Pharmacia)
  • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (Perkin Elmer DSC 8000)
  • Dynamic Light Scattering
    • Malvern ZetaSizer with backscattering detector
    • Malvern ZetaSizer with 90° detector
  • Electrochemical Workstation (CH Instruments, Inc., CHI 660D)
  • Electron Microscopy
    • FEI Tecnai T12 Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) (LaB6 gun, 120 kV, STEM mode with energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) detector)
    • FEI Tecnai T20 TEM (LaB6 gun, 200 kV, with Cryo and 3D tomography function)
    • Hitachi S3000 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with EDS detector
    • Poseidon Liquid Cell Holder
  • Elemental Analysis
    • CHNOS Elemental Analyzer (Perkin Elmer, PE2400)
  • Field Flow Fractionation
    • Centrifugal Field Flow Fractionation (cFFF) with UV-Vis/Diode Array and Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (MALLS) detectors (Postnova Analytics)
    • Asymmetric-Flow Field Flow Fractionation (AF4, Wyatt Tech Eclipse DualTec) with Diode Array UV-vis (Agilent), Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (FFF/SEC-MALS, Wyatt Tech DAWN HELEOS) and Refractive Index Detectors (Wyatt Tech, Optilab T-rEX)
    • Asymmetric-Flow Field Flow Fractionation (AF4, Wyatt Tech Eclipse AF4) and Electrical AF4 (EAF4, Wyatt Tech Mobility), with Diode Array UV-vis (Agilent), Multi-Angle Laser Light Scattering (FFF/SEC-MALS, Wyatt Tech Dawn Heleos II), Viscometer (Wyatt Tech, Viscostar III) and Refractive Index Detectors (Wyatt Tech, Optilab T-rEX)
  • Mass Spectrometry
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) (Agilent, 7500CX)
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) (Perkin Elmer NexION 2000)
    • Single Quad Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) (Shimadzu)
    • Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) (Thermo Fisher Vanquish UHPLC with Exactive Plus EMR MS)
    • Single Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) (Shimadzu, LCMS-2020)
    • Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (Shimadzu, LCMS-8040)
    • Quadrupole–Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/Orbitrap) (Thermo Scientific, Q Exactive Basic)
  • LV1 Microfluidizer (Microfluidics)
  • pH Titrator (Metrohm, Titrando 836)
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation (QCM-D) (Biolin Scientific QSense, E4)
  • Single Particle Counting and Sizing
    • qNano with Scanning Ion Occlusion detection (Izon)
    • nCS1 (Spectradyne)
  • Spectroscopy
    • Circular Dichroism Spectrophotometer (AVIV 202)
    • Fluorescence Spectrophotometer (Horiba, Fluoromax-4)
    • Fourier Transform Infrared/ Fourier Transform Near Infrared (FT-IR/FT-NIR) Spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer, Spectrum 400)
    • Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-vis) Spectrophotometer (Perkin Elmer, Lambda 35)
    • NS2 Nanospectralyzer (Applied Nanofluorescence) with Raman, near-IR fluorescence, and near-IR/visible absorption detectors
  • Spin Coater (Laurell, WS-400B-6NPP lite)
  • Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) (Mettler-Toledo)

Biological Characterization

  • Cell Counters
    • Cellometer (Nexcelom, Auto T4)
    • Coulter Counter (Beckman/Coulter, Z2)
  • Coagulometer (Diagnostica Stago, Start 4)
  • CHRONO-LOG Model 700 Whole Blood/Optical Lumi-Aggregometer (Chrono-log Corp)
  • Flow Cytometers
    • FACSCalibur 4 (BD Biosciences)
    • FlowSight Imaging flow cytometer (Amnis)
    • NovoCyte flow cytometer (Acea Biosciences)
  • Fluorescent Microscope (Zeiss, Axiphot 2)
  • Freeze Dryers
    • Labconco, 7751020
    • Labconco, Freezone 2.5
  • GentleMACS Dissociator  (Myltenyi Biotec)
  • Imaging Systems
    • G-Box DRXX9/1020 (Syngene)
  • Kinetic Tube Reader (Associates of Cape Cod, Pyros Kinetix Flex)
  • Liquid Scintillation Counter (Beckman/Coulter, LS6500)
  • Neon transfection system (Thermo Fisher Scientific)
  • Optical Microscopes
    • Nikon, Eclipse TS100
    • Nikon, Eclipse TE2000U
  • Plate Readers
    • Molecular DE, Spectramax M5
    • Molecular SpectraMax i3x Multi-Mode Detection Platform (Molecular Devices) 
    • Q-View Imager-Pro, multiplex plate reader (Quansys Biosciences)
  • Real-Time Cell Analyzers
    • xCELLigence RTCA DP Real-Time Cell Analyzer (Acea Biosciences)
    • xCELLigence RTCA MP Real-Time Cell Analyzer – Multiple Plates (Acea Biosciences)
  • Thermal Cyclers
    • Real-Time PCR Thermal Cycler (Bio-Rad, IQ5)

Frederick National Lab Instrumentation

In addition to collaborative resources located at NIST, the NCL also has direct access to all resources, instruments, and expertise within the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. Some examples include a mass spectrometry facility, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers, an optical microscopy laboratory, additional electron microscopy capabilities, a proteomics laboratory, a sequencing facility, and an animal research facility complete with pathology, histology, and a full range of animal imaging capabilities.

For more information on the added resources available at the Frederick National Lab, please visit here