Portable Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) Sensor for Detection of Biological Agents
Rept. for 2 Jan-1 Jul 2003
AERODYNE RESEARCH INC BILLERICA MA
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Our Phase I work demonstrated the feasibility of a mobile LIBS system for the detection of biological agents. This is a very demanding application, in part because of the need to detect threat particles in the presence of a much larger number of benign particles. We believe that the best solution to this problem lies in particle beam focusing technology developed at Aerodyne Research for use in other aerosol analysis devices, most notably a commercially successful aerosol mass spectrometer. Using this aerodynamic lens technology, a large fraction of the total particles sampled can be brought to the focal point of a LIBS excitation laser. Therefore, our goal in Phase I was to demonstrate the feasibility of an aerosol particle samplingmicrochip laser LIBS system for biological agent detection. The microchip laser is currently the only LIBS-capable laser that can operate at the kHz repetition rates needed for detection of trace fractions of particles in a reasonable amount of time. Other advantages of microchip lasers include small size, rugged construction, low power consumption and, most importantly, the ability to be triggered. Key issues addressed in Phase I work were the choice of spectral detection regions, an assessment of the microchip laser power requirements, and a demonstration of the use of aerodynamic focusing and laser triggering to enhance sensitivity.
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare