Besides the program and project research work, the members of the Department of Analytical Chemistry (D04) team also carry out the contract work for industrial, academic and other partners. This includes the development, adaptation and optimization of analytical methods and chemical analyses, for which partners need specialized expertise and/or appropriate instrumentation, as well as consulting and training in all fields of our research. We conduct this kind of cooperation with several tens of large, medium and small companies, governmental, academic, and other public and private institutions and groups, as well as with interested individuals.
In the framework of such cooperation we perform:
- Elemental analysis of all kinds of samples/materials (environmental, industrial, biological, agricultural, historical, etc.) using modern instrumental techniques such as inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-MS and ICP-OES) including several types of sample preparation protocols (e.g., microwave-assisted digestion, fusion, Parr and HF digestion, etc.). The elemental analysis encompasses the determination of practically all elements of the periodic table (except carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen) at concentrations from ultratrace (low µg/kg, i.e., sub-ppb) to macrocomponent (%) level
- Determination of anions and cations using ion exchange chromatography (e.g. chloride, sulphate, nitrate, phosphate, ammonium, etc.) or ion selective electrodes (e.g., fluoride)
- Surface elemental microanalysis (elemental imaging) by laser ablation for direct non-destructive microsampling of various solid materials, hyphenated to elemental mass spectrometer (LA-ICP-MS). This technique is suitable for surface and depth elemental microprofiling of different materials in the fields of material research, pharmacy, archaeology, conservation, forensics, biomedicine, etc. (please, see below for more details)
- Analysis and characterisation of inorganic fibers in suspended solid particles using scanning electron microscopy (SEM/EDX)
- Electroanalysis (cyclic voltammetry, stripping voltammetry) including microanalysis using microelectrodes and microsensors
- Selected chemical speciation analysis using hyphenated analytical systems (e.g., liquid chromatography (LC) - MS/MS / ICP-MS)
Laser ablation hyphenated with elemental mass spectrometry
With the recently obtained state-of-the-art excimer laser ablation - ICP-MS (LA-ICP-MS) analytical system, we can perform direct solid sampling of multifarious inorganic and organic materials using a laser microbeam (with diameter ranging from 1 to 200 μm) with subsequent real-time elemental detection by means of ICP-MS. The LA-ICP-MS capabilities enable us to perform practically non-destructive microanalyses with high spatial resolution (for surface mapping and depth profiling) in the low μg/g range for most elements of the periodic table. The merits of this advanced equipment have already been recognized and proven in many fields, e.g., new material synthesis and application, environmental analysis, pharmacy, geology, conservation and archaeology, biology and botanics, forensics, metallurgy, etc.
Our scientists and technicians are well trained, experienced, skilled and capable of dealing with diverse analytical and chemical characterization problems. We therefore invite all who are interested in our work and potential cooperation to contact us for further information and details.
Iris Štucin, e-mail: iris.stucin(at)ki.si, t: +386 1 4760 234
dr. Samo Hočevar, e-mail: samo.hocevar(at)ki.si, t: +386 1 4760 230
Nina Valntič, e-mail: nina.valentic(at)ki.si, t: +386 4760 232