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High Sensitivity Rugged Array Detectors for Field Deployed Instruments: Low-Light Level Camera for Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Ram

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911QX-08-C-0075
Agency Tracking Number: A062-065-0929
Amount: $729,227.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A06-065
Solicitation Number: 2006.2
Solicitation Year: 2006
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-07-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-07-27
Small Business Information
#19 Shea Way Suite 301
Newark, DE 19713
United States
DUNS: 964792485
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Sean Wang
 Chief Technical Officer
 (302) 368-7824
Business Contact
 Pei Tzeng
Title: Account Manager
Phone: (302) 368-7824
Research Institution

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and Raman spectroscopy are developing rapidly for chemical and biochemical sensing applications. There is an urgent need for high-sensitivity detectors so as to minimize sample quantity and maximize detection range from the source. In most field-deployable spectrometers, a photo-detector array is used for analyzing the spectral contents. The sensitivities of the CCD or CMOS arrays are typically not high enough, and an expensive and short-lived ICCD has to be used. We proposed in Phase I the world’s first nano-tech semiconductor image intensifier and low-light-level camera design. During Phase I, we also built the world’s first femto-Amp femto-Watt electro-optical measurement system, fabricated the world’s highest sensitivity semiconductor photo-detectors, and precisely characterized them to have achieved > 100 x higher sensitivity than avalanche photodiodes. Our Phase I experimental results well exceeded our original expectations. Phase II will see the full specification development of the proposed image intensifier, low-light-level camera and high-sensitivity LIBS systems. The prototype LIBS spectrometer will cover 200 – 1,000 nm range with 0.1 nm resolution. It will have its detection limit as low as 1/1,000 of the minimum detectable amount of a similar system with CCD. We will continue into production in Phase III.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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