Determining Nanorod Dimensions in Dispersion with Size Anisotropy Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

William H Hoffmann, Bo Gao, Niall Mulkerns, Alexander G Hinton, Simon Hanna, Simon R Hall, Henkjan Gersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


Control over nanorod dimensions is critical to their application, requiring fast, robust characterisation of their volume and aspect ratio whilst in their working medium. Here, we present an extension of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis which determines the aspect ratio of nanoparticles from the polarisation state of scattered light in addition to a hydrodynamic diameter from Brownian motion. These data, in principle, permit the determination of nanorod dimensions of any composition using Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis. The results are compared with transmission electron microscopy and show that this technique can additionally determine the aggregation state of the nanorod dispersion if single nanorod dimensions are determined with a complementary technique. We also show it is possible to differentiate nanoparticles of similar hydrodynamic diameter by their depolarised scattering. Finally, we assess the ability of the technique to output nanorod dimensions and suggest ways to further improve the approach. This technique will enable rapid characterisation of nanorods in suspension, which are important tools for nanotechnology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13040-13048
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
W. H. H. thanks Adrian Crimp and his team at the University of Bristol Mechanical Workshop for machining components of the device as well as Michael O'Donnell for discussions about light scattering theory. W. H. H., S. R. H., and H. G. acknowledge the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for funding under grant number EP/L016648/1. W. H. H. and S. R. H. acknowledge support by MagnaPharm, a European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement number 736899. B. G. acknowledges the China Scholarship Council and the University of Bristol for funding and providing the High Performance Computing platform. N. M. and H. G. acknowledge support from an NPIF grant cofunded by Carbometrics under grant number EP/R51245/X. Electron microscopy studies were carried out in the Chemical Imaging Facility, University of Bristol with equipment funded by EPSRC under Grant “Atoms to Applications” EP/K035746/1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


  • Light scattering
  • nanoparticle tracking analysis
  • Brownian motion
  • Depolarization
  • Hydrodynamic diameter
  • Particle characterization


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