E164 - Institut für Chemische Technologien und Analytik
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LIBS; LA-ICP-MS; polymer thin films; distribution analysis
Since their invention in the early 20th century, the properties of synthetic polymers have been steadily improved and became one of the most widely used materials in our modern world. To open up new application fields for polymers, constant improvement of the materials' properties is necessary. Nowadays, a common approach to fine-tune the required properties is the employment of (in)organic additives, making industrial polymers a very complex material. As further development of material properties goes hand-in-hand with thorough characterization and analysis of the material, analytical tools which enable characterization of polymers also need constant improvement. In this work, the two analytical techniques Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) are applied to the field of polymer characterization to enable a more comprehensive analysis not accessible with conventional techniques. Using LIBS combined with multivariate statistics, 3D classification and discrimination of different polymer types in structured samples was achieved. Additionally, LIBS combined with LA-ICP-MS was used to study polymer degradation and uptake of inorganic species under corrosive conditions. A polymer-specific LIBS signal was identified which allows to detect polymer degradation with relation to the sample depth. By simultaneous detection using LA-ICP-MS the uptake of inorganic species was investigated depending on the degradation of the sample. In a third application, LIBS was evaluated to perform quantitative trace metal analysis in polymers using multivariate statistics. Thereby, the need of matrix-matched standards is circumvented which are conventionally necessary for quantification.