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Plastic is considered one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, providing us with a range of very practical materials. However, due to the mismanaged waste the plastic pollution is ubiquitous and pervasive that it has become a threat to the environment and human health. The slowly degrading/fragmenting plastic debris forms a highly heterogeneous group of particles with different sizes (i.e., from centimeter over millimeter and micrometer to nanometer scale), shapes, densities, and chemical compositions. Detection, quantification and source identification of low-micrometre range microplastics (MPs, 1-10µm) and nanoplastics (NPs, 1-1000nm) in different matrices is still one of the biggest challenges that is of great interest to a broad spectrum of industrial and environmental applications. The continuous technological improvements in analytical instruments have ignited new analytical ideas and pathways to assess and explore several key characteristics, such as concentration, composition, particle size, shape and other surface characteristics.
The characterization of micro- and nanoplastics represents a new analytical growth pillar embedded within the Specialized Organic and Inorganic Analysis Laboratory (team GOAL). The goal of this project is to open up new frontiers regarding characterization of non-metallic micro- and nanoparticles (1nm-10µm). The achievement of these goals will require a wide set of complementary tools such as analytical and instrumental chemistry, physics and nanometrology. The laboratory has a wide experience in developing R&D projects and can deploy a wide range of complementary analytical techniques. GOAL hosts advanced analytical instrumentation. Nanomaterial detection platform comprising size distribution (NTA, DLS, CPS), zeta potential, UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, (single-particle) ICP-MS, size exclusion chromatography, field flow fractionation coupled on-line or off-line with light scattering (multi-angle classical light scattering and dynamic light scattering), UV or fluorescence detectors and ICP-MS. GOAL also has access to the S(T)EM, FTIR, µXRF, Pyr-GC-MS, DART-MS, LC-MS and (particle-free) test chambers. GOAL laboratory also include sample preparation equipment such as microwave and ultrasound equipment.
We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher for 2 years postdoctoral position to work on microplastics and nanoplastics analytics with possible 2 years extension.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org