Compact High Sensitive Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Instrument

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Boston Applied Technologies, Inc.
6F Gill Street
Woburn, MA 01801
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a versatile tool for in situ substance characterization. Existing LIBS instruments are not compact enough for space applications. Major obstructs for miniaturization are from: high voltage Q-switch based pulse laser, inefficient light collection system and bulky high sensitive array-detection. Based on a revolutionary low-voltage Q-switch technology and high efficient laser delivery and light collection scheme, Boston Applied Technologies proposes to develop an ultra-compact high sensitive LIBS instrument for NASA application. The laser featured fast and dual-pulse Q-switch with low switching voltage, ultra reliable fiber-ring cavity design, and high efficient laser-diode pumping. The low switching voltage also brings the advantage of reducing the complexity of the electronic driver design, which is a big chunk in existing electro-optical or acoustic-optic Q-switching lasers. The required ablation energy can be significantly reduced due to high efficiency of the proposed system. The resultant LIBS instrument will be compact, cost-effective and reliable. It will be capable of withstanding operation in space and planetary environmental extremes, which include temperature, pressure, radiation, and impact stresses.