Research Group Inorganic Trace Analysis

Projects

We are currently focusing on the following topics:

Investigation of polymer properties from the perspective of material science and their environmental impact

  • Polymer coatings are deployed in a wide range of industries to prevent diffusion of impurities and elements causing corrosion (S, Cl, Na, K, ...). Our group employs depth-resolved LA-ICP-MS/LIBS analysis to investigate this topic.
  • In the past few years, microplastics have become heavily discussed due to their adverse effects on our ecosystems. As the uptake and release of heavy metals from the microplastics could further aggravate these effects, we employ state-of-the-art LA-ICP-MS imaging to investigate this problem.
  • High-performance polymers are used in a variety of modern technologies and applications. Nevertheless, the long-term durability of these products is often limited by polymer degradation resulting in loss of mechanical strength, embrittlement or cracking. In addition to the elemental analysis of the sample, LIBS spectrum can provide information on its molecular composition, which can be used for spatially and depth-resolved studies of the polymer degradation.

Characterization of materials used in lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells

  • Complex metal oxides (CMOs) have a great potential to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). As the properties of these materials can be altered by minor modifications of their stoichiometry and addition of dopants, we develop innovative analytical methods for highly precise determination of the stoichiometry and degree of doping of thin layers.