According to a recent analysis of Essential
Science Indicators from
Reuters data, the work of Professor Jan Åke
Jönsson achieved the highest percent
total citations in the field of Chemistry from October
to December 2008. His current record in this field
includes 67 papers cited a total of 1,286 times between
January 1, 1999 and February 28, 2009.
Prof. Jönsson is at the
Analytical Chemistry Division at Lund University in Sweden. In
the interview below, he talks with ScienceWatch.com
about his highly cited work.
Would you tell us about your educational
background and research experiences?
I am a Ph.D. (1978) and professor (2000) at Lund University, Sweden, where
I have spent practically all my scientific life, now coming close to
retirement. I have been teaching analytical chemistry and environmental
science for decades and my research has been centered in separation
science, in the earlier years, physicio-chemical matters, then later field
flow fractionation, and now, since the '90s, novel extraction techniques. I
have many contacts all over the world, more in "east" and "south" (Africa)
than in "west."
What would you say is the main focus of your
The main focus nowadays is about the basics and application of
membrane-based extraction techniques. These techniques can provide
unsurpassed concentration enrichment factors (often thousands of times),
high selectivity, and very little solvent consumption with cheap and simple
The use of hollow porous fibers for the membranes (resulting in a technique
sometimes called LPME, short for liquid phase microextraction) is
especially efficient—disposable and efficient extraction devices
costing cents can be easily made and applied. This is useful for
environmental sampling and analysis, in food chemistry and for use in
There are also possibilities to use these devices to determine freely
dissolved fractions and chemical activities, which is a currently
much-discussed, interesting topic in environmental chemistry.
Where do you think this technology will be in five to
We expect it to be used more in environmental and other applications. This
will be dependent on the acceptance by regulatory authorities (which is a
very slow process), and generally in the scientific community, which is on
its way, as our papers are widely read.
What would you like the "take-away lesson" about your
research to be?
That efficient and selective extractions can be made with very simple and
cheap means. It is not necessary to stick to shaking lots of expensive,
toxic, and flammable solvents, or to fiddle with expensive SPE
Prof. Jan Åke Jönsson