Research project


Thematic area

Chemical sciences and materials technology

Project area

Chimica e tecnologia dei materiali (DCM.AD006)

Structure responsible for the research project

Institute for chemical and physical processes (IPCF)

Project manager

Phone number: 09039762248


The Ifremer Merlin« Microplastics » project is a research project dedicated to the investigations of microplastics in marine environments and structured into five high-level main workpackages. WP1 covers the project management workpackage. WP2 will track the smallest plastics particles, understand their evolution and assess their impacts in marine ecosystems. WP3 will deal with microplastics as new habitat for the microbiota and, microplastics in the deep sea will be dealt with in WP4. Communication and general public awareness by citizen science and outreach activities will be carried out in WP5.

CNR is involved in WP2 with the development of an opto-plasmonic trapping system to concentrate micro-sized objects present in marine water on a surface and ascertain their chemical composition by optical spectroscopy.


The aim of this project is to develop an optofluidic system using thermoplasmonic effects coupled to opto-plasmonic trapping to concentrate micro-sized objects in solution at a surface. The objects will then be analyzed by Raman spectroscopy to ascertain their chemical nature.

Thermo-plasmonic and opto-plasmonic forces lead, respectively, to local heating and advective fluxes, on one side, and enhanced trapping forces, on the other. In this project we will combine these two phenomena so that the sparse micro- or nano- sized objects present in a watery sample can be concentrated by the advection flows and stably trapped by the enhanced optical forces. Implementation of such an optofluidic device with a Raman spectrometer will permit to carry out a precise analysis of the chemical nature of sparse particles present in the liquid, e.g. microplastics.

Start date of activity



Microplastiche, Spettroscopia Raman, Termoplasmonica

Last update: 01/03/2024