SBIR Phase I: Portable, Miniaturized Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer for Analysis of Inaccessible, Complex Surfaces

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
14 COMMERCE DR, Danbury, CT, 06810
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Steven Donahue
(201) 909-8824
Business Contact:
Steven Donahue
(201) 909-8824
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)Phase I project will characterize sample requirements, as well as breadboard electronic and optical instrument hardware, in support of the development of an ultra-miniaturized Fourier transform infrared analyzer. The proposed analyzer is unique in that it will be capable of functioning effectively on a wide variety of irregular and previously inaccessible surfaces of varied composition associated with pharmaceutical cleaning verification and aerospace maintenance applications. Specifically, the project will determine the optimum means to detect trace levels of active pharmaceutical ingredients on the various materials (i.e., Teflon and stainless steel) and irregular surface geometries in pharmaceutical manufacturing equipment, using an infrared spectrum analyzer. The need to access locations deep in inside an object will drive the requirement to miniaturize this technology and to develop novel means of accessing particularly difficult locations. For example, in aircraft maintenance, the need to probe the molecular integrity of composite material in the fuselage of a plane will require a miniature analyzer coupled with highly sensitive detector and flexible sampling probe. The outcome of this work will be the invention of a miniaturized FTIR-based surface analyzer, which will find application in a host of key industries. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is substantial and will benefit a number of manufacturing related industries. By understanding what is required to develop useful technology for characterizing a wide range of surfaces by infrared analysis, as well as miniaturizing the technology for use in non-lab environments, a host of industrial applications become accessible. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry the technology will lead to on-site cleaning verification that reduces manufacturing equipment down-time and the costs to produce pharmaceuticals. In the aerospace industry, many surfaces must be cleaned, and verified as clean, during manufacturing and maintenance in order to ensure that coatings, paints and primers are effectively applied to metal, polymer and composite surfaces. For devices as sophisticated as the next generation space shuttle or composite base commercial airlines, the need to know that surfaces are properly cleaned and/or prepared is critical as it impacts vehicle maintenance and safety.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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