WITec announces Paper Award 2020 winners

Every year, the WITec Paper Award competition recognizes three exceptional peer-reviewed
publications that feature results acquired with a WITec microscope. A record number of 113
publications was submitted this year from different fields of application such as cancer research,
electrochemistry, semiconductor research, geology and microplastics research, to name only a few.
The Paper Awards 2020 go to researchers from Japan, Poland and Austria and acknowledge
impressive studies and methodologies from the fields of electrochemistry, biomedicine and polymer
science, respectively.

See also: https://www.witec.de/resources-and-education/news/post/2020/04/287

The Paper Award BRONZE was awarded to Ruth Schmidt from FELMI-ZFE

Official text from the WITec-Homepage:

The Paper Award BRONZE: Correlative Raman imaging of polymeric materials

Ruth Schmidt from Graz University of Technology (Graz, Austria) receives the Bronze Paper Award
2020, together with her colleagues Harald Fitzek, Manfred Nachtnebel, Claudia Mayrhofer, Hartmuth
Schröttner and Armin Zankel. The group demonstrated the potential of correlative Raman Imaging
and Scanning Electron (RISE) microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDXS) for
investigating polymers. Polymeric materials are popular in many applications due to their wide
variety of useful properties, such as high elasticity or toughness. For characterizing their properties,
the advantages of three imaging techniques were combined. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)
acquired high-resolution structural information, while Raman imaging revealed the chemical
composition and was complemented by elemental information from EDXS. The publication provides
a detailed methodology chapter which describes different sample preparation approaches and
imaging modes. For example, it explains strategies for SEM imaging without coating the sample,
which would hinder subsequent Raman imaging. Three polymer specimens were investigated with
RISE and EDXS, yielding complementary information from the same sample region. Coarse and fine
structures of the samples were correlated with chemical properties and the layer structure of
packaging materials was visualized. Particulate additives in a polymer matrix were identified and
their size distribution was investigated. The authors stressed that combined SEM, Raman imaging
and EDXS offers great possibilities for analyzing polymeric materials.

The award winners
First author Ruth Schmidt with the Paper Award certificate (middle). Her co-authors from left to right: Armin Zankel, Claudia Mayrhofer and Hartmuth Schröttner (top row); Manfred Nachtnebel and Harald Fitzek (bottom row).











Reference: Ruth Schmidt, Harald Fitzek, Manfred Nachtnebel, Claudia Mayrhofer, Hartmuth Schröttner and Armin Zankel (2019) The Combination of Electron Microscopy, Raman Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy for the Investigation of Polymeric Materials. Macromolecular Symposia 384: 1800237. doi.org/10.1002/masy.201800237