Cross-Cutting Topic 1

Dr. Ulrike Braun
Dr. Gunnar Gerdts
(Alfred-Wegener-Institut; PLAWES)
Dr. Natalia P. Ivleva
(Technical University of Munich; SubμTrack)
Dr. Jens Reiber

Contacts PlastikNet
Ulf Stein
(Ecologic Institute)
Hannes Schritt
(Ecologic Institute)

Cross-Cutting Topic 1: Analytics and Reference Materials


  • harmonization of analytics of microplastics (sampling, preparation, detection) in complex environmental matrices within the research focus for better comparability of the results obtained
  • planning of and participation in workshops as well as to establish professional networks
  • preparation of a joint document (discussion paper with continous updating) to harmonise the analytics of microplastics for the internal and external presentation of results
  • conception and implementation of comparative tests for microplastics analytics with defined reference materials

Status of work

As part of the cross-cutting topic, the status report “Analysis of Microplastics - Sampling, preparation and detection methods” was published in German and English. This status report was prepared within the framework of the cross-cutting issue 1 "Analytics and reference materials" of the research focus. It summarizes the contents of the project discussions and coordination within the cross-cutting issue. The organization of this process of development or elaboration was supported by several events.

The status report presents a summary of the physicochemical methods for the analysis of microplastics used in the research focus "Plastics in the Environment". The present recommendations are based on the current state of knowledge of the analysis of microplastics and are directed at actors in science as well as potential users in practice.

A comparative study on "spectroscopic detection methods for microplastic detection" was undertaken. The aim of this comparative study was to classify different analytical methods for the identification and quantification of microplastics regarding their informative value and to work out the strengths and limitations of the respective methods.

As part of the webinar series, several webinars related to the cross-cutting topic of "Analytics and Reference Materials"  occurred in German language.


The activities of the cross-cutting topic "Analytics and reference materials" are completed. For further information, please check the home page:

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