Presented by: Bridget O'Donnell, HORIBA Scientific
Plastic pollution, specifically microplastics and nanoplastics (plastic particulate <5 mm), is a global problem that threatens the environment and potentially human health. Microplastics have been found in virtually every matrix, from drinking water to lakes and oceans and marine organisms. Regulation or mitigation strategies may be implemented; however, the extent of microplastic pollution must be well understood first. To that end, techniques for microplastic collection, extraction, detection, and identification have been developed.
Raman spectroscopy is an established technique for identification of microplastics, and it has been employed for characterization of both polymers and additives, including pigments. In addition, confocal Raman microscopy allows for identification of small-size microplastics (submicron scale). Through automation of Raman spectral measurements, with the aid of multimodal optical microscopy techniques and advanced data processing and multivariate analysis, high sample throughput can be attained. Finally, accurate spectral matching of unknown microplastics requires the development of robust reference spectral databases and algorithms capable of discriminating a wide variety of microplastic morphologies, colors, and sizes.
About the presenter
Bridget O'Donnell earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as the Manager of Raman Applications for HORIBA Scientific in Piscataway, New Jersey. She coordinates demonstrations and sample analysis requests from prospective customers, varying from semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, polymers, oxides, organics and minerals. She also maintains and troubleshoots HORIBA's instrumentation, including its XploRA, LabRAM HR Evolution, MacroRAM, Anywhere Raman and NanoRaman.