Novel n-pulse Approach for LIBS Enhancement

Period of Performance: 12/13/2004 - 06/13/2005

$120K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

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

Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been proven as 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. Although the capabilities of LIBS have been demonstrated, the performance needs to be improved, especially for field applications. Revolutionary advances are needed to transition LIBS from the laboratory to the field. The basis of this SBIR proposal is to test a new paradigm for LIBS, by using high repetition-rate, low energy laser pulses to significantly extend the plasma lifetime. Importantly, this enhancement approach is all optical (there are no additional power supplies to support secondary plasmas) and gated detection will not be required. The Phase I effort will theoretically establish the enhancement concept, demonstrate and benchmark a test system, and produce design requirements (Phase I Option) for a new LIBS instrument (to be prototyped in Phase II). The Phase I effort will emphasize analysis of Al-based materials of military interest. Such a system will be of immediate use to the Army for applications in chem/bio agents, explosives and other hazardous materials.