Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Analytics and Chemical Characterization of Materials and Processes

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.04.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Chemistry   
1.08.00  Natural sciences and mathematics  Control and care of the environment   

Code Science Field
P300  Natural sciences and mathematics  Analytical chemistry 

Code Science Field
1.04  Natural Sciences  Chemical sciences 
analytical chemistry; development of analytical methodologies and tools; trace analysis; bioanalytics; micro- and nano-characterization/technology; inorganic and organic pollutants; biologically important compounds; sensors and biosensors; microsensors; novel sensing materials; hyphenated analytical techniques; flow analytical systems; chromatography; electroanalysis; elemental mass spectrometry; laser techniques; miniaturization; modelling; chemical speciation of elements and compounds; sampling and characterization of aerosol particulate matter; aerosol reactivity; kinetics and mechanisms of atmospheric chemical processes; environmental, bio-medical and industrial systems; health and food safety.
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (37)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22304  PhD Mojca Bavcon Kralj  Chemistry  Researcher  2009  206 
2.  29849  PhD Michael Philip Beeston  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2011  15 
3.  29481  PhD Sara Budal  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2009 - 2013 
4.  09774  PhD Bojan Budič  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  211 
5.  27536  PhD Ana Čevdek  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2009 - 2010 
6.  33314  PhD Sebastiano Dal Borgo    Junior researcher  2010 - 2014  15 
7.  34523  PhD Marta Debeljak  Interdisciplinary research  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  36 
8.  04537  PhD Mladen Franko  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2009 - 2014  608 
9.  37523  PhD Leja Goljat  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2014  23 
10.  29524  PhD Asta Gregorič  Geology  Beginner researcher  2014  186 
11.  03587  PhD Irena Grgić  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  365 
12.  18555  PhD Samo Hočevar  Chemistry  Head  2009 - 2014  252 
13.  28567  PhD Mersida Janeva Azdejković  Mechanical design  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012 
14.  29483  PhD Tina Jerman Klen  Pharmacy  Junior researcher  2010 - 2013  25 
15.  23431  PhD Vasko Jovanovski  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  132 
16.  32117  PhD Zoran Kitanovski  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2009 - 2012  46 
17.  31463  PhD Dorota Agnieszka Korte  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2010 - 2014  159 
18.  31996  PhD Ana Kroflič  Chemical engineering  Researcher  2013 - 2014  159 
19.  26037  Vesna Lenarčič    Technical associate  2009 - 2011 
20.  32052  PhD Mingqiang Liu  Chemistry  Beginner researcher  2009 - 2014  52 
21.  26511  PhD Mitja Martelanc  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2014  73 
22.  36328  PhD Eva Menart  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2014  125 
23.  21387  PhD Branka Mozetič Vodopivec  Plant production  Researcher  2009 - 2014  144 
24.  18208  Breda Novak    Technical associate  2009 - 2014  24 
25.  02285  PhD Božidar Ogorevc  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  310 
26.  33872  PhD Marilyne Pflieger  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2013  57 
27.  35550  PhD Franja Prosenc  Control and care of the environment  Junior researcher  2012 - 2014  66 
28.  34544  PhD Tatjana Radovanović  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2011 - 2014  18 
29.  30841  PhD Hanna Ingrid Sopha  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2009 - 2013  19 
30.  25442  PhD Martin Šala  Chemistry  Researcher  2012 - 2014  353 
31.  32101  PhD Bine Šebez  Chemistry  Beginner researcher  2009 - 2014  15 
32.  23492  PhD Vid Simon Šelih  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  209 
33.  25503  PhD Kajetan Trošt  Plant production  Researcher  2010 - 2014  48 
34.  23261  PhD Johannes Teun Van Elteren  Chemistry  Researcher  2009 - 2014  269 
35.  36420  PhD Tanja Zidarič  Medical sciences  Junior researcher  2013 - 2014  44 
36.  17260  Lidija Živec    Technical associate  2009 - 2014 
37.  36475  PhD Mojca Žorž  Chemistry  Junior researcher  2013 - 2014  14 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0104  National Institute of Chemistry  Ljubljana  5051592000  21,306 
2.  1540  University of Nova Gorica  Nova Gorica  5920884000  14,361 
This research program, carried out by a team of scientists from the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry (8 scientists) and the Laboratory for Environmental Research at Nova Gorica Polytechnic (one scientist), focuses on advanced and relevant research in the field of analytics and chemical characterization of materials and processes. The excellence of the team scientists, the availability of state-of-the-art equipment and cooperation with reputable (inter)national research groups allow for the targeting of challenging research topics, all of which represent ample training and education opportunities for Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. The research program is divided into two complementary and interconnected thematic blocks. Thematic block A (technique-oriented research) - Complex material/sample analysis (i) Research on hyphenation of flow separation/sample preparation techniques (liquid/ion chromatography, flow injection analysis) with various detection systems (electrochemical and UV/Vis diode array detection, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, thermal lens spectrometry, surface plasmone resonance) for retrieval of detailed chemical information from complex matrices, which also includes modelling of separation processes. (ii) Research on direct, non-destructive analysis, including development of various types of electrochemical and optical sensors and biosensors by seeking and implementing technologically new electrodes and modification materials (e.g. nanoparticles, bioactive compounds), new coating techniques, etc. for the detection of relevant inorganic and biologically important compounds in complex environmental and biomedical samples. - Trace and ultratrace analysis (i) Studies are oriented to solving spectral, matrix macrocomponent and solvent interferences in contemporary elemental analysis techniques such as ICP-MS and ICP-atomic emission spectrometry to find new routes and to assure the reliability of (ultra)trace analyses. (ii) Development of electrochemical (stripping) trace analysis mainly based on the newly introduced bismuth electrode, with emphasis on developing tools for fast on-field analysis/decentralised testing. - Miniaturization of detection devices Development of novel micro- and nano-electrodes and sensors based on (etched) carbon or metal fibres/wires, paste, microtubes, etc. These are designed for detection in extremely small environments (volumes or locations) to open new application possibilities in biomedical research, diagnostics, environmental protection and industry. Thematic block B (problem-oriented research) - Atmospheric chemical processes Studies are focused on the transformation of some gaseous pollutants (SO2, NOx, NH3) in the tropospheric aqueous phase, and formation of acidic components and secondary aerosols. Particular attention is paid to transition metals (e.g. Fe, Mn) which behave as catalytically active species, as well as to some organic components (e.g. carboxylic acids, aldehydes, alcohols, etc.) whose role in atmospheric chemical processes is still not fully explained. Using specifically designed instrumentation, reaction kinetics in model solutions are studied as well as the chemical reactivity of real (mostly sub-micrometer sized) aerosols, depending on their size and composition. -Chemical speciation Novel speciation methodologies (sequential extraction and hyphenated techniques) are developed and specific instrumental approaches, such as x-ray absorption spectrometry, are employed for speciation of elements selected on the basis of their risk levels and degree of pollution in a multitude of relevant environmental samples (soil, water, etc.) by studying and determining their oxidation state, complexes and their binding to the solid phase.
Significance for science
The focus of the research programme P1-0034 towards current topics and areas in the frame of the development of advanced analytical methodologies and tools/sensors and the study of physico-chemical processes, represent, together with results and findings of our research activities, a significant contribution to the global science. This is supported by intensive involvement of the programme group in various national and international collaborations, also with eminent scientists, numerous publications (138 since 2009), presentations and large number of citations (over 5000 in 2009-2014, source Wos/Scopus). In the fields of environmental protection, (bio)medicine, materials development and industrial control, there are increasing demands and needs for sensitive, selective, reliable, robust and rapid analytical methods and tools, miniaturization of sensor assemblies and understanding of various physico-chemical (natural) processes. Our findings in the frame of research and development of advanced (micro)analytical protocols, methodologies, chemical sensors and biosensors, and their miniaturization, together with the innovative use of novel and existing (nanostructured) materials and technologies represent an important contribution to these fields. We estimate that in the field of modern electroanalytical chemistry an important progress and contribution have been made within the intensive studies of development and possibilities of wider application of bismuth and antimony electrodes, which were developed within our group and in collaboration with international partners. Both electrodes, and particularly bismuth electrode, are and are still developing into the subject of numerous investigations in various electrochemical laboratories and are becoming well established in the field of measuring trace (heavy) metal ions and selected electrochemically active organic compounds. But the most important is their role as an excellent replacement for so far the most commonly used but problematic/toxic mercury electrode; this is also evidenced by over 540 citations of our first article on a bismuth film electrode. The field of elemental and molecular analysis of complex (bio)samples and improving particularly sensitivity and selectivity of analytical methods and tools certainly demand thorough study and coupling of advanced separation and detection techniques. Determination and study of chemical species occurrence is a topical scientific challenge, therefore research into the use of combined non-destructive and destructive analytical methods is very important. We achieved essential practical and fundamental progress and contributed significantly in the areas of (bio)material research, elemental and molecular microanalysis, and elemental chemical imaging, particularly in the frame of hyphenating laser ablation (LA) and elemental mass spectrometry, where we have demonstrated excellent achievements in the development of 2D and 3D imaging, both in opening new application possibilities and in fundamental studies on laser-material interactions. In the field of atmospheric chemistry we demonstrated important achievements in chemical characterization of aerosols, development of innovative methodologies for this purpose, and study of processes of secondary aerosol formation, which can also be used in models for predicting the formation/distribution of atmospheric particles; these findings represent a significant contribution to further studies and understanding of complex atmospheric reaction mechanisms. Remarkable progress has been shown in the field of thermal lens spectrometry (TLS), as a tool for physico-chemical characterization of liquids and solutions. Very important is the contribution in terms of theory and instrumental development of microscopic TLS and its application in microfluidic systems for, e.g. detection of toxic compounds in environmental samples and detection of biomarkers in biological fluids.
Significance for the country
The knowledge and experience acquired in the framework of the research programme P1-0034 assure direct and/or indirect transfer and application of knowledge and wider benefit in current fields of socio-economic development of the Republic of Slovenia, both in terms of technological and sustainable development. The research programme was planned in agreement with global and local trends and needs in the areas of (i) environmental protection (study of aerosols and atmospheric processes, trace (heavy) metal ion and other pollutant analysis), (ii) health and food safety (analysis of complex (bio)samples, development of sensors and microsensors, development of microanalytical methods for potential use in diagnostics, bioanalysis of toxic and essential components), (iii) industrial monitoring and materials development (analysis of final and interphase samples in technological processes) and (iv) natural and cultural heritage preservation (non-destructive chemical analysis and microanalysis of (solid) materials and objects of historic significance). Throughout the programme we devote our attention to pedagogic activities through working with undergraduate and postgraduate students/young investigators and postdoctoral fellows aimed at establishing high-quality knowledge transfer, education and creating top-level experts who will be able to compete in the international labor-market. In the last few years the members of the programme group have been involved in numerous mentorships and co-mentorships in bachelor, master and doctoral dissertations and postdoctoral visits. We were intensively integrated into the Slovenian research community through various formal or informal collaborations with, e.g. Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, Biotechnical Faculty, Faculty of Medicine, Veterinary Faculty, University of Maribor, University of Nova Gorica, Jožef Stefan Institute, in sharing the instrumental capacities and knowledge exchange, also in the frame of our collaboration in the infrastructure programme. Activities of the programme group members encompassed also support and collaboration with other academic and non-academic/industrial partners in solving complex analytical/development issues and the organization of scientific meetings and workshops. Expedient and high-quality knowledge transfer can be evidenced in successful collaboration with tens of industrial partners, also in the frame of contracts (Lek, Krka, Wire, Calcit, Salonit Anhovo, Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing). Presentations of our achievements in numerous national and international seminars, including invited lectures and organization of international seminars and workshops, have contributed to the promotion and recognition/visibility of our country and consequently facilitated access to novel technologies, creating conditions for participation in international projects and international labor division. In the field of environmental (and health) protection it is crucial to realize that information on the total content of elements in environmental and other samples is insufficient for decision making concerning sustainable development policies and environmental and health protection actions, which highlights the great importance of chemical characterization development; consequently, new findings and knowledge could benefit the preparation of national strategies concerning environmental and related regulations.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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