Center for the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCnano)



School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment
College Avenue Commons
660 S. College Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
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Dr. Paul Westerhoff
(480) 965-2885


Engineered nanomaterials (NMs) are expected to have transformative benefits for individuals and society. For this reason they are being incorporated into many household and consumer products. However, tremendous uncertainty presently exists in our ability to predict or manage risks from nano-enabled products across their life cycles. The Networks for the Life Cycle of Nanomaterials (LCnano) comprises an interdisciplinary team of chemists, toxicologists, scientists, engineers, and social scientists studying the trade-offs between the intended use of NMs and the potential risks. The expertise and laboratory infrastructure available within LCnano allows for the assessment of the risks of NMs to humans and the environment across their life cycle from creation, through use and disposal.  LCnano also considers the relative benefits nanotechnology brings to products, compared against chemically-enhanced products. 

Available Resources

The LCnano laboratories and in-house expertise provide extensive capabilities for the characterization of nanomaterials in the environment. This includes the preparation of samples for analysis using transmission electron microscopy; inductively coupled plasma mass-spectroscopy for the analysis of single nanoparticles in aqueous solutions; size exclusion chromatography with ICP-MS or carbon detection for sizing nanomaterials in water samples; liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy for quantifying C60 materials; thermal combustion analysis for quantifying carbon nanotubes, graphenes and other materials; extraction protocols to aid in quantification of nanomaterials in food, biological tissues/fluids, etc; hand-held x-ray fluorescence and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy to rapidly screen products and wastes for elements used in nanomaterials or in medical diagnostic samples and; dynamic light scattering for determining the size distribution and zeta potential of nanoparticles in solution. Contact Paul Westerhoff to learn more about how LCnano can help with your research and educational needs.