We discuss a methodology for the cooperative analysis of optical and x-ray spectroscopies to deduce the thermophysical properties of dilute suspensions of semiconductor nanoparticles in a wide band gap host. X-ray spectroscopy is used to determine concentration and bonding of selected elements. Resonant Raman spectroscopy establishes limits on composition and strain in particles. Analysis of optical absorption, with constraints provided by x-ray and Raman measurements, yields the particle size distribution and concentration. As an example of this approach, we study borosilicate glasses doped with similar to 0.1 wt% CdS and heat treated to produce nanoparticles. (C) 2000 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(00)03508-8].