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Department of Chemistry Ursula Fittschen

Assistant Professor

Fulmer 145
Pullman, WA 99164-4630



  • Member of the American Chemical Society, Devision of Analytical Chemistry
  • Member of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker
  • Reviews Editor Spectrochimica Acta Part B (Elsevier)
  • Editorial Board Member X-Ray Spectrometry (Whiley)


To read about PhD research opportunities please scroll down this page; projects are available on:

  • 3D CMXRF elemental imaging
  • TXRF elemental micro analysis
  • and pico liter printer development

Dr. Fittschen’s group web page

Our capabilities and research:

  • micro analytical elemental determination and speciation
  • elemental and species imaging

The overarching goal is to understand changes in dynamic systems with complex components e.g. migration of toxic elements in sediments, transportation of ions in plants and  energy storage systems


Dr. rer. nat. (PhD), 2001
University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Diploma (MS) Chemistry, 1996
University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Publications 2014-2016

  • Ricarda Hoehner, Samaneh Tabatabaei, Hans-Henning Kunz, Ursula Fittschen, A rapid total reflection X-ray fluorescence protocol for micro analyses of ion
    profiles in Arabidopsis thaliana; Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy (2016) just accepted manusscript, doi: 10.1016/j.sab.2016.09.013
  • U. Fittschen, A. Guilherme, S. Böttger, D. Rosenberg, M. Menzel, W. Jansen, M. Busker, Z. P. Gotlib, M. Radtke, H. Riesemeier, P. Wobrauschek, C. Streli, A setup for synchrotron-radiation-induced total reflection X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption near-edge structure recently commissioned at BESSY II BAMline, J. Syn. Rad. (2016) 23, 820-824
  • R. Dalipi, L. Borgese, A. Casaroli, M. Boniardi, U. Fittschen, K. Tsuji, L.E. Depero, Study of metal release from stainless steels in simulated food contact by means of total reflection X-ray fluorescence, J. Food Engineering (2016) 173, 85-91 (IF: 2.771)
  • M. Menzel, O.Scharf, S. H. Nowak, M. Radtke, U. Reinholz, P. Hischenhuber, G. Buzanich, A. Meyer, V. Lopez, K. G. McIntosh, C. Streli, G. Havrilla and U. E. A. Fittschen, Shading in TXRF: Calculations and experimental validation using a color X-ray camera, J. Anal. At. Spectrom. (2015) 30, 2184-2193 DOI:10.1039/C5JA00127G (IF: 3.466)
  • U. Boesenberg&U.E.A. Fittschen, “2D and 3D imaging of Li-ion battery materials using synchrotron radiation” in “Rechargeable Batteries” Green Energy and Technology, Z. Zhang and S.S. Zhang(eds), Springer int. pub, Switzerland p393 (2015) DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-15458-9_14
  • U. Boesenberg, M. Falk, C. G. Ryan, R. Kirkham, M. Menzel, J. Janek, M. Fröba, G. Falkenberg, U. Fittschen, Correlation between chemical and morphological heterogeneities in LiNi0.5Mn1.5O4 spinel composite electrodes (LNMO) for lithium ion batteries determined by micro X-ray fluorescence analysis, Chem. Mater., (2015) 27, 2525-2531; DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b00119 (IF: 8.354)
  • U. E. A. Fittschen, O. Scharf, M. Menzel, Full-Field X-ray Fluorescence Microscopy Using a Color X-ray Camera, Microscopy today (05/2015); 23(3):36. DOI:10.1017/S155192951500022X
  • I. De La Calle, M. Quade, T. Krugmann, U.E.A. Fittschen, Determination of residual metal concentration in metallurgical slag after acid extraction using total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, X-Ray Spectrometry (2014); 43(6). DOI:10.1002/xrs.2561 · (IF: 1.35)
  • U. E. A. Fittschen, M. Menzel, O. Scharf, M. Radtke, U. Reinholz, G. Buzanich, V. M. Lopez, K. McIntosh, C. Streli, G. J. Havrilla, Observation of X-ray shadings in synchrotron radiation-total reflection X-ray fluorescence using a color X-ray camera, Spectrochim. Acta Part B (2014), 99, 179–184 (IF: 3.176)
  • M. Menzel, U. E. A. Fittschen, TXRF analysis of airborne silver nanoparticles from fabrics, Anal. Chem. (2014), 86 (6), 3053 doi 10.1021/ac404017u (IF: 5.64)
  • M. Meyns, F. Iacono, C. Palencia, J. Geweke, M. D. Coderch, U. E. A. Fittschen, J. M. Gallego, R. Otero, B. H. Juárez, C. Klinke, Shape Evolution of CdSe Nanoparticles Controlled by Halogen Compounds, Chem. Mater. (2014) 26, 1813-1821 (IF: 8.35)

PhD Research opportunities

Confocal micro X-ray Fluorescence (CMXRF)

The project focuses on spatial resolved elemental characterization of systhems exibiting several phase boundaries e.g. batterie cells and pore models. XRF allows to look beyond the surface, because of its quasi non-destructive nature i.e. allows for “in-operando”/ “in-situ” studies. We have build a CMXRF instrument which is comparable with 5 other systems worldwide (Vienna, Osaka, Berlin and Los Alamos). The project requires:

  • interest in applied material and environmental research
  • interest in data processing
  • interest in building new and innovative sample environments in CMXRF
  • participation in synchrotron beamtimes
  • interest in collaborative research with National laboratories, companies and international partners


Pico-liter printing in analytical Chemistry

The project focuses on developing and evaluation of a pico liter pipetting system based on thermal inkjet drop on demand printing for applications in TXRF, CMXRF and others. TXRF is a micro analytical tool, which allows for elemental determination in minute amounts of samples e.g. <10µg, <10µL. CMXRF is a tool for elemental microscopy. Experimental results on the microscopic deposits will be evaluated with modeling. The modeling will be done in close collaboration with the Atomic Institute Vienna, Austria and IFG Berlin, Germany.  The project requires:

  • interest in microelectronics
  • interest in instrument optimization
  • interest in programming
  • interest in collaborative research with National laboratories, companies and international partners


Total Reflection X-Ray fluorescence (TXRF) and TXRF-XANES

The project focuses on the development of novel powerful sample preparation and introduction procedures in TXRF. TXRF is a cost efficient and easy to maintain technique and therefore favorable for monitoring environmental contaminants all over the world. It is especially valuable if sample material is limited or precious e.g. cultural heritage, aerosols, nanoparticles and proteins.To determine oxidation state of elements the absorption near edge fine structure (XANES) can be anaylzed. Verification of oxidation state other independent analytical methods needs to be applied. The project requires:

  • interest in applied environmental research
  • interest in data processing
  • interest in developing and optimizing sample preparation procedures in TXRF
  • interest in building new and innovative sample environments in TXRF
  • participation in synchrotron beamtimes
  • interest in collaborative research with National laboratories, companies and international partners