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Speciation of natural Nanoparticles

Field-flow-fractionation online with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for the characterisation of natural nano particles in environmental samples


The combination of size separation of natural nano particles by field flow fractionation (FFF) developed at IBG-3 with element selective detection using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) at ZEA-3 enables the quantification of particle bound metal contents depending on particle size.

This project is currently mainly focussing on the binding of phosphorus to humic acids and clay minerals in water samples and soil extracts in order to better understand the speciation and transport processes of phosphorus as an important essential element in ecosystems and agricultural fields. 

Due to the high sensitivity and the capability for multielement detection of transient signals ICP-MS is a powerful complementary detection technique to UV-Vis and lightscattering for FFF separation of particles in the size range from few nanometers (humic acids) to several hundreds of nanometers (clay minerals / Al-Fe-Si-containing particles).

FFF online with Collision Cell ICP-MS