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

Period of Performance: 07/19/2004 - 01/31/2005


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

University of California, Berkeley
Sponsored Projects Office
Berkeley, CA 94704
Institution POC


As nanotechnology fabrication develops internationally, the availability of tools for ensuring that materials and systems abide by their chemical 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 devices). The basis of this proposal is to address this need by expanding the capabilities of LIBS (laser induced breakdown spectroscopy) to the nanoscale. LIBS-based diagnostic systems have been developed for military and industrial applications because of the advantages of sensitive real-time analysis and in-situ measurement capabilities. The Phase I effort will demonstrate the feasibility of performing nanometer spatially resolved chemical analysis based on laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (nano-LIBS). The nano-LIBS system (to be prototyped in Phase II) will provide the capability for imaging the morphology of the sample, with selection of individual nanoparticles and nanostructures for chemical analysis . The proposed system will utilize NSOM (Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy) ablation capability with nanosecond and femtosecond pulsed laser excitation, and intensified optical detection, to chemically analyze individual nanoparticles on surfaces (as opposed to particles in an aerosol stream) and nanostructures.