Microplastics, Nanoplastics, Elements

Our team focuses its research on three research fields:

  1. Microplastic and tire and road wear particles
    What is the fate of tire wear particles in aquatic environments?
    How can we predict microplastic emissions from urban areas?

  2. Fate and transport of nanoparticles in the enviroment
    How are natural colloids transported and transformed in aquatic environments under dynamic hydrochemical conditions e.g. aggregation, dissolution and mobilization?
    Particulate emissions from road transport
  3. 3. Nanosafety research
    Development of characterization techniques for nanomaterials
    How does the surface coating of a nanomaterial alter under environmental conditions and what is its effect on particle fate e.g. particle-biota interactions?
    How can we quantify traffic related nanomaterial emissions?
    Spatial distribution of chemicals in aquatic organisms

Our laboratory is equipped with high-end instrumentation and numerous experimental possibilities for particle characterization and quantification. We analyze particle size, particle composition and particle surface properties of inorganic and organic particles. In particular our lab is equipped with     

  • Elemental analysis: ICP-MS (Thermo ICapQ, Element), ICP-OES (Spectro ARCOS)
  • Particle size fractionation: asymmetric flow-FFF (Wyatt Eclipse 3), rotating coiled column (RCC),
  • Particle sizing: dynamic light scattering (Nanostar, Wyatt), laser obscuration time analysis (Eyetech).
  • Elemental analysis in solid samples: laser ablation ICP-MS (G2 Analyte, Teledyne Cetac coupled to SpectroMS, Spectro at the ProVis facility
  • Polymer analysis: µFTIR imaging (Cary 620 FTIR Microscope, Cary 670 spectrometer, Agilent)

Further we have access to the instrumentation of the ProVis facility and Department of Analytical Chemistry including Raman spectroscopy and MALDI-MS

The work on these research fields is done in collaboration with internal and external partners.


Hans-Joachim Stärk
Guyu Peng

PhD students:
Aurelio Foscari
Orasai Faikhaw
Robby Rynek
Steffen Weyrauch
Tim Steska
Wen Qin

Daniel Kolb
Josephine Karte

Alumni / former colleagues
Timothy Holbrook
Ferdinand Krause
Jürgen Steffen
Ines Volkmann

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  • Bozau, E., Friese, K., Stärk, H.-J. (2003):
    Geochemistry and REE pattern of acidic pit lakes in Lower Lusatia (Germany)
    In: Merkel, B., Wolkersdorfer, C., Hasche, A. (Hrsg.)
    Trace elements and isotopes in geochemistry - fluids and solids. 54. Berg- und Hüttenmännischer Tag, Freiberg, 20.6.2003
    Wissenschaftliche Mitteilungen 24
    TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institut für Geologie, Freiberg, S. 15 - 18

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