Nanoscale Chemical Analysis using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (nano-LIBS)

Period of Performance: 09/28/2005 - 09/27/2007


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Applied Spectra
123 Crosby Ct. #3
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of California, Irvine
3151 Social Science Plaza
Irvine, CA 92697
Institution POC


As nanotechnology fabrication develops internationally, the availability of tools for ensuring that materials and systems abide by their design characteristics becomes essential. In order for nanotechnology to mature, diagnostic instruments must be developed to detect and analyze physical and chemical properties with spatial resolution much less than the dimensions of the nanostructures (materials and structures). Applied Spectra demonstrated a unique integrated nano-LIBS system with nanosecond pulsed laser excitation, and intensified optical detection, for chemical analysis at the nanoscale. The Phase I proof-of principle work identified the primary areas that must be advanced to develop nano-LIBS into a commercial instrument, efficient light detection and plasma properties. This Phase II effort will advance the Phase I proof-of-principle findings into a prototype nano-LIBS instrument suitable for military and civilian applications. This new optical based analytical instrument will be suitable for performing chemical compositional analysis with nanometer-scale spatial resolution, and at atmospheric pressure. The nano-LIBS system will emphasize flexibility for use in a wide field of applications including defense, electronics, medical, and nano-device manufacturing. Desired metrics for the system will be 100 nanometer spatial imaging with LIBS measurement capabilities.