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SBIR Phase II: Novel Ultrasensitive Gas Chromatography (GC) Detector with Highly Specific Response to Aromatic Hydrocarbons
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This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will advance commercialization of an aromatic-specific laser ionization detector (ArSLID). The photoionization detectors (PIDs) that are widely used as gas chromatography (GC) detectors and hand-held organic vapor analyzers form a natural basis of comparison for the ArSLID concept. The ArSLID uses a high repetition rate pulsed laser instead of a vacuum ultraviolet lamp to create molecular ions. The prototype ArSLID built and tested in Phase I is approximately 10-times more sensitive, has ten-times shorter response time, and is several orders of magnitude more selective toward aromatic hydrocarbons than any commercially available PID. The linear dynamic range is at least 5 orders-of-magnitude. The ArSLID is also immune from interferences by water vapor or oxygen. Technical improvements planned for Phase II include improving the resolution by 4 bits and correction for variations in the laser pulse repetition frequency. Features will be added to facilitate easy integration of the ArSLID with existing GCs. Another focus of Phase II will be applications development to show the versatility and value of ArSLID. The Phase I work, which emphasized GC detection, will be expanded to HPLC detection, which opens up tremendous opportunities in the Life Sciences.
The aromatic-specific detector will find a wide range of applications as the detector for gas chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), general vapor monitoring, and specialized environmental techniques. Of these, the HPLC detector has the greatest commercial potential as a highly sensitive, low cost alternative the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *