[ed: my smartphone broke, so I didn’t have a camera with me to take pictures…]
As part of the German delegation, I was nominated by DIN to go to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) meeting. Our technical committee is working on particle characterization techniques, of which SAXS is one. Before my time (in 2015), the group defined particle size analysis with SAXS. So what is happening now, and what does an ISO meeting look like?
Let’s tackle the last question first. According to the plan, these ISO meetings should be full of “experts” to pursue the best definitions. As you can see from my nomination, however, they will just let any little snot in. Joking aside, the meeting was bereft of women, and had relatively few young people contributing. Hopefully, this situation will improve in the near future.
So what happened? Besides the plenary sessions, where the documents and sections were listed, there were two sessions for SAXS. These are led by Michael Krumrey from the PTB, and attended by several SAXS vendor representatives. At the moment it looks like the data corrections may get a place in the standard (a draft of which will be written by yours truly), and there will be supplements for specific surface determination and size distribution analysis.
Now, the ISO standardization procedure doesn’t define anything that isn’t already set in stone, so it doesn’t really offer much new. However, having defined the method, it does add much needed legitimacy to the SAXS technique. It also allows further use of the technique for quality control purposes and legal purposes, so I am quite excited about being involved.
If you want to get involved in this as well, contact your country’s standardization body, and ask to be added to the TC24 mirror committee. From this mirror committee, one or more representatives are then sent to the biannual ISO meetings. If you like bureaucracy, this is the place to be!