Tetramer Technologies was awarded a Phase I contract (70NANB17H240) from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the development of highly monodisperse, polystyrene latex standards in a variety of sizes (<20 to 100 nm). These latexes will be used by NIST’s Engineering Physics Division of the Physical Measurement Laboratory as sizing standards to provide traceability for critical measurement instrumentation, enabling new manufacturing technologies. In particular, these standards can be used to calibrate electron microscopy equipment, enabling previously unknown reliability across a variety of instruments.
Specifically, during this Phase I, Tetramer will develop a reproducible emulsion polymerization process to produce 100 nm diameter latex polystyrene particles, with a total population size variation of less than 2%. Subsequently, the average diameter will be tuned to smaller sizes while maintaining the extremely low level of size variation. Dynamic light scattering, electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy will all be used to size the various nanoparticle populations. Upon completion of this SBIR development program, Tetramer plans to deliver at least 4 sizes of nanoparticles to NIST for independent size verification and sale as NIST calibrated standards.