PhD-students currently working in this area:

Fluorine and fluoronomics

There are so fare only a few natural organofluorine compounds known, but there are hundreds of man-made organofluorine compounds (mainly perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) known. Beside the widely known use in Teflon and other plastics fluorinated groups are often used in drugs to influence their physiological retention.

These man-made compounds are bioaccumulating in fatty tissue and can have detrimental health effects. There is still relative little known about the metabolism of fluorinated compounds. The main reason for this is the difficulty to identify unknown fluorinated compounds.

Fluorinated compounds are difficult to distinguish from non-fluorinated compounds by organic mass spectrometry and normally not detectable by elemental detectors either.

We are working on a new method for fluorine detection using ICP-MS as fluorine specific detector through the formation of polyatomic ions, which could be a potential method for unknown fluorine compound detection.

The other method applied is molecular absorption spectrometry determining fluorine as polyatomic molecule. The PhDs working in this general field are at the moment concentrating on developing the methods and testing their robustness.

Experiments are also ongoing to couple these methods on or off-line to HPLC and other separation methods.

Some of our publications in this field