News | February 2, 2021

“Part of my PhD was dedicated to the development of microplastics detection methods”

I am Liron Zada, I am a 38-year-old Postdoc at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. I am married with three children, living in the Netherlands for more than 8 years. I recently started as a Postdoc in ISPT’s project Towards improved circularity of polyolefin-based packaging which is the first project of the Circular Plastics Initiative. My research is about plastic sorting with Raman spectroscopy for recycling. The subject is aligned with my personal interests on one hand (environmental), and with my professional skills on the other (Raman techniques).

Microplastics detection

I am trained as a physicist focusing on (Raman related) applied spectroscopy and imaging techniques. A part of my PhD was dedicated to the development of microplastics detection methods in samples from the environment or in human tissue (histology slices) with stimulated Raman scattering microscopy.

Future ambitions

I intend to use deep UV Raman, since it presents some advantages over Raman in the visual spectrum, especially for industrial environment. Hopefully the instrument would provide additional information of the plastics in the stream such as if the plastics are layered. In addition, current limitations, such as the difficulty to identify colored plastics, should not apply for this method.

This is a postdoc project only for two years. The project was introduced to me by Freek Ariese, who is my PhD supervisor. So far, I am impressed by the ambitions and enthusiasm of the people I met. My ambitions in this project are to develop a Raman based sorting sensor which can deliver unique data over the sampled stream.

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