New nanoscale reference material to be known as P25
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has issued a new
nanoscale reference material for use in a wide range of environmental, health and safety
studies of industrial nanomaterials. The new NIST reference
material is a sample of commercial titanium dioxide powder
commonly known as P25.
NIST standard reference materials (SRMs) are typically
samples of industrially or clinically important materials that
have been carefully analyzed by NIST. They are provided with
certified values for certain key properties so that they can be
used in experiments as a known reference point.
Nanoscale titanium dioxide powder may well be the most
widely manufactured and used nanomaterial in the world, and,
not coincidentally, it is also one of the most widely studied
(Fig. 1). In the form of larger particles,
titanium dioxide is a common white pigment. As nanoscale
particles, the material is widely used as a photocatalyst, a
sterilizing agent and an ultraviolet blocker (in sunscreen
lotions, for example).
1. The nanoscale crystalline
structure of titanium dioxide in
NIST SRM 1898 (color added
Titanium dioxide is not considered highly toxic and,
in fact, we dont certify its toxicity, said NIST
chemist Vincent Hackley. But its a representative
industrial nanopowder that you could include in an environmental or toxicity study.
Its important in such research to include measurements
that characterize the nanomaterial youre
studyingproperties like morphology, surface area and
elemental composition. Were providing a known
The new titanium dioxide reference material is a mixed
phase, nanocrystalline form of the chemical in a dry powder. To
assist in its proper use, NIST has developed protocols for
properly preparing samples for environmental or toxicological
The new SRM also is particularly well suited for use in
calibrating and testing analytical instruments that measure
specific surface area of nanomaterials by the widely used
Brunauer-Emmett-Teller gas sorption method.