Novel n-pulse Approach for Revolutionary LIBS

Period of Performance: 09/28/2006 - 09/28/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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


Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful analytical sensor technology for military and civilian applications. Attributes include real-time measurement response, no sample preparation, high sensitivity, and the ability to detect signatures from chem/bio agents, explosives, toxic compounds and other hazardous materials. The Phase I SBIR proposal tested a new paradigm for LIBS, by using high repetition-rate, low energy laser pulses to enhance the LIBS plasma intensity. The effort theoretically and experimentally demonstrated this enhancement concept, with new supporting research showing significant intensity and plasma lifetime enhancements. Importantly, this enhancement approach was all optical (no additional power supplies to support secondary plasmas). Intensified gated detection was not required. The new approach allows new opportunities for LIBS applications including enhanced sensitivity, enhanced standoff capabilities, and continuous emission monitoring. The Phase II effort will thoroughly investigate and develop this new approach for LIBS, and produce design requirements for a new LIBS instrument to be commercialized in Phase III. The Phase II effort will emphasize analysis of several sample materials of military interest. Such a system will be of immediate use to the Army for applications in force protection and homeland security.