Material Characterization

Due to their small size, nanoscale particles are very difficult to detect, characterize, and monitor in complex samples such as waste water, soil, and tissues. Since nanomaterial characteristics determined in pristine laboratory conditions will change when placed in complex environmental systems, it is critical to accurately determine size, composition, surface area, shape, quantity, and surface chemistry. Our cutting-edge characterization techniques used to analyze nanoscale particles are absolutely necessary for accurate quantitative environmental risk assessment.


ERDC's advanced NanoSEM Scanning Electron Microscope is used to determine size, shape, and elemental composition of nanoparticles in environmental samples.


The field flow fractionation technique is coupled to an inductively coupled mass spectrometer to separate particles by size followed by chemical analysis.


  • Atomic Force Microscope
  • Brunauer, Emmet and Teller
    Surface Area Analysis
  • Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analysis
  • Field Flow Fractionation interfaced to Inductively Coupled Plasma
    Mass Spectrometry
  • Graphite Furnace Atomic
    Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma
    Mass Spectrometry with Dynamic Reaction Cell interference
    reduction capability
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma
    Atomic Emission Spectroscopy
  • Laser Light Scattering
  • Particle Charge (Zeta potential)
  • Quartz Crystal Microbalance
  • Raman Microscope
  • Scanning Electron Microscope
  • Transmission Electron
    Microscope (TEM)
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines,Golden, CO, 2002, Geochemistry
  • B.S., Arkansas State Universy, Jonesboro, AR, 1998, Chemistry

Research Projects

  • Application of HPLC-ICP-MS speciation methods for geochemical characterization
    of metals
  • Detection and characterization of nanomaterials
  • Bioavailability, fate, and transport of metals, including nanomaterials
  • Specialized analytical methods development

Anthony J. Bednar, PhD

Research Chemist



  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 2012, Physical Chemistry
  • B.S., Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL, 2007, Chemistry

Research Projects

  • Surface characterization for adhesion of nanomaterials
  • Raman imaging of nanoparticles, thin films, grapheme
  • Influence of photolysis on nanomaterial agglomeration, adsorption,
    dispersions and subsequent toxicity

Michael F. Cuddy

Physical Chemist


  • Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2011, Civil Engineering
  • M.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2009, Civil Engineering
  • B.S., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, 2007, Civil Engineering

Research Projects

  • Development of high-performance and durable infrastructure materials
  • Forensic analysis, maintenance, and repair of civil and military infrastructuresystems
  • Structural biomaterials and bio-inspired materials
  • Advanced characterization techniques applied to engineering materials

Robert Moser

Civil Engineer


  • Ph.D., Auburn University, Auburn, Al, 2010, Chemical Engineering
  • B.S., State University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA, 1997, Chemistry

Research Projects

  • Analysis of nanomaterial sorption properties on various environmental surfaces
    with QCM
  • Influence of photolysis on nanomaterial agglomeration, adsorption, dispersions
    and subsequent toxicity
  • Examination of nanoparticles and thin films with Atomic Force Microscopy

Aimee Poda

Chemical Engineer


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1989, Geology
  • M.S., University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1987, Geology
  • A.B., Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, 1983, Computer Science and Geology

Research Projects

  • Development and characterization of bio-inspired structural composites
  • Characterization of environmentally-relevant materials
  • Forensic investigations of cement-based and other construction materials

Chuck Weiss