SBIR Phase I: Hand-Held Device for PPB-level Water Analysis

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945002
Agency Tracking Number: 0945002
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
60 East Simpson Avenue, Jackson, WY, 83001
DUNS: 793185088
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mark Peterman
 (650) 218-5427
Business Contact
 Mark Peterman
Title: MS
Phone: (650) 218-5427
Research Institution
This SBIR Phase I project will develop a unique "lab-on-a-chip", with the objective to be able to simultaneously detect several water contaminants down to parts-per-billion levels. The separation method to be used is an innovative microfluidics undulating electro-osmosis technique which uses a capillary tube with a varying diameter. The detector is a surface-enhanced Raman spectrophotometer using embedded metallic nanoparticles. The project team will conduct tests of the instrument using perchlorate and nicotine as the target species for testing. These target species are to be adsorbed onto gold nanoparticles. The broader/commercial impact of the proposed project will be that this could lead to the capability of detecting a broad array of contaminants in the natural environment such as emerging pharmaceuticals, arsenic, heavy metals, melanine, plasticizers, etc. Contaminants of national security risk would be additional targets. Labs-on-a-chip have been developed and commercialized by several companies, but in general they are limited to basic analyses such as pH, conductivity, etc., and/or they can detect specific organic or inorganic compounds only to parts per million levels. Being able to go down to parts per billion levels will be a great benefit for numerous applications such as on-site investigations. Coupling the novel separation technique to the surface-enhanced Raman spectrophotometer could result in a unique technology that could be quite useful for detecting and quantifying many chemical species in water.

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

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