Raman microspectroscopy as a tool for microplastic particle analysis

Philipp M. Anger, Elisabeth von der Esch, Thomas Baumann, Martin Elsner, Reinhard Niessner, Natalia P. Ivleva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


This review discusses the identification and quantification of microplastic (MP) using Raman microspectroscopy (RM). It addresses scientists investigating MP in environmental and food samples. We show the benefits and limitations of RM from a technical point of view (sensitivity, smallest particle sizes, speed optimizations, analysis artefacts and background effects) and provide an assessment of the relevance of lab analyses and their interpretation (sample sizes for the analysis, uncertainty of the analysis). All parts are complimented by extensive literature data and a theoretical derivation of the concepts. We conclude with suggestions for a feasible and meaningful RM analysis of MP samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-226
Number of pages13
JournalTrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Analysis
  • Contamination
  • Image processing
  • Microplastic
  • Raman microspectroscopy (RM)
  • Simple random sampling
  • Statistical certainty


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