60 second science: Nanoparticles

Kent-based Naneum make portable miniaturised instruments to sniff out and identify nanoparticles in the atmosphere. Their instruments are being used to investigate climate change, assess workplace air-quality, and study quality of health.

Naneum is the winner of a 2012 Innovation Award from the Institute of Physics celebrating companies that make the most of applying physics in a commercial environment.

Nanoparticles in the air can be made by traffic

Nanoparticles in the air can be made by traffic


Naneum was founded in 2005. The aim of Naneum was to manufacture, design and manufacture, leading edge products that would make it easy for researchers to make in situ measurements of airborne nanoparticles.

Our flagship product is the NPS-500. The NPS-500 measures particles in the size range from 5 up to 500 nanometres. We saw that the instruments that were able to perform the function at the present time were laboratory instruments. We set out to make a miniaturised instrument that could be transported to the source of the nanoparticles and that could be used by any well-trained engineer.

Winning the innovation award is a tremendous boost to us. It really makes us feel vey much recognised as at the forefront of physics. We feel very proud that Naneum instruments are being used in areas such as the investigation of climate change, looking at occupational hygiene issues, looking at health issues. These are things that will benefit people in the future and we feel very proud that our instruments are used in that way.

About the film

Filmed on location at:

  • Naneum, Canterbury Innovation Centre, Canterbury, UK. September 2012.

Director: Martyn Bull
Producer: Thomas Delfs
Camera: Mark Whatmore
Editors: Liam Angell, Mike Willbourne
Cast: Dr Robert Muir

Production company: insitu
Client: Institute of Physics

Camera: RED Epic, Canon 550D

Further reading

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