L. Brunnbauer, M. Mayr, S. Larisegger, M. Nelhiebel, L. Pagnin, R. Wiesinger, M. Schreiner, A. Limbeck:
"Combined LA‑ICP‑MS/LIBS: powerful analytical tools for the investigation of polymer alteration after treatment under corrosive conditions";
Scientific Reports, 10 (2020), S. 1 - 10.

Kurzfassung englisch:
Polymers are used in a variety of different areas, including applications in food packaging, automotive and the semiconductor industry. Information about degradation of these materials during application, but also uptake of pollutants from the surrounding environment is therefore of great interest.
Conventional techniques used for polymer characterization such as FT-IR or Raman spectroscopy, but also thermo-analytical techniques offer insights into degradation processes but lack the possibility to detect uptake of inorganic species. Moreover, these techniques do not allow the measurement of depth profiles, thus information about degradation or pollutant uptake with sample depth is not accessible. In this work, we propose LA-ICP- MS and LIBS as powerful analytical tools for polymer characterization, overcoming the limitations of conventional analytical techniques used for polymer analysis. Applicability of the developed procedures is demonstrated by the analysis of artificially weathered polyimides and modern art materials, indicating that the degradation of the polymer but also the uptake of corrosive gases is not limited to the sample surface. Finally, a tandem LA-ICP- MS/ LIBS approach is employed, which combines the advantages of both laser-based procedures, enabling the simultaneous analysis of polymer degradation and cadmium uptake of polystyrene after exposure to UV radiation and treatment with artificial sea water.

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