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Development of an optimal filter substrate for the identification of small microplastic particles in food by micro-Raman spectroscopy

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Sarau,  George
Micro- & Nanostructuring, Technology Development and Service Units, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Helmoltz-Center Berlin for Materials & Energy (HZB);

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Schmitt,  Sebastian W.
Micro- & Nanostructuring, Technology Development and Service Units, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Helmoltz-Center Berlin for Materials & Energy (HZB);

/persons/resource/persons201040

Christiansen,  Silke H.
Christiansen Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;
Free University of Berlin, Phys Dept;

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Citation

Ossmann, B. E., Sarau, G., Schmitt, S. W., Holtmannspoetter, H., Christiansen, S. H., & Dicke, W. (2017). Development of an optimal filter substrate for the identification of small microplastic particles in food by micro-Raman spectroscopy. ANALYTICAL AND BIOANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY, 409(16), 4099-4109. doi:10.1007/s00216-017-0358-y.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-87A1-1
Abstract
When analysing microplastics in food, due to toxicological reasons it is important to achieve clear identification of particles down to a size of at least 1 mu m. One reliable, optical analytical technique allowing this is micro-Raman spectroscopy. After isolation of particles via filtration, analysis is typically performed directly on the filter surface. In order to obtain high qualitative Raman spectra, the material of the membrane filters should not show any interference in terms of background and Raman signals during spectrum acquisition. To facilitate the usage of automatic particle detection, membrane filters should also show specific optical properties. In this work, beside eight different, commercially available membrane filters, three newly designed metal-coated polycarbonate membrane filters were tested to fulfil these requirements. We found that aluminium-coated polycarbonate membrane filters had ideal characteristics as a substrate for micro-Raman spectroscopy. Its spectrum shows no or minimal interference with particle spectra, depending on the laser wavelength. Furthermore, automatic particle detection can be applied when analysing the filter surface under dark-field illumination. With this new membrane filter, analytics free of interference of microplastics down to a size of 1 mu m becomes possible. Thus, an important size class of these contaminants can now be visualized and spectrally identified.