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An ISO Technical Report on the use of Electron Spectroscopy for Measurement of Core-Shell Nanoparticle Shell Thicknesses

Short Name: ESCoShell, Project Number: 17SIP03
Image showing a 3D illustration of silver nanoparticles
3D illustration of silver nanoparticles

Providing support for the accurate measurement of nanoparticle coating thickness

Medical diagnostics, solar cells, and catalysis are all industries increasingly making use of the value of coated nanoparticles. The field of nanoparticle drug delivery, for example, is set to be worth more than €110 billion by 2022. An important factor of a nanoparticle’s usefulness in different situations is the thickness and surface chemistry its coating, and so being able to measure these characteristics accurately is critical to understanding environmental interactions and behaviour.


This project produced an ISO Technical Report for measuring coating thickness of nanoparticles, using electron spectroscopy. The report covers a comprehensive set of methods and best practice issues to ensure that nanoparticle characterisation can be performed accurately and consistently between different analysts and instruments.

Providing clear guidance towards reliable surface analysis of coatings will give users more confidence in the validity of their measurements, supporting the utilisation of nanoparticles in novel products and applications ranging from cancer diagnostics to sun cream.


This project builds on from EMRP project HLT04 BioSurf.


Participating EURAMET NMIs and DIs
BAM (Germany)
NPL (United Kingdom)