Laser-induced convection shifts size distributions in Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

Wil H Hoffmann, Niall Mulkerns, Simon R Hall, Henkjan Gersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

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This work discusses the effects of increasing laser power on the size data derived from NTA for particles of known size and scatterers in solutions of flufenamic acid in ethanol. We find that whilst a higher laser power reveals more particles as expected, their residence time changes due to laser-induced convection. This reduced residence time decreases the number of tracks available for individual particle size determination, shifting the size distribution to smaller values. This problem is overcome by using a shutter to inhibit the development of convection currents, increasing particle residence time and reducing the error on the size distribution. The detailed understanding of laser-induced convection permits more robust size characterisation of mesoscopic organic clusters, which play a key role in two-step nucleation theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5694 - 5702
Number of pages9
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2021


  • Nanoparticle detection
  • Brownian motion
  • convection
  • light scattering
  • mesoscopic cluster
  • nanoparticle tracking analysis


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