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LDRD final report on high power broadly tunable Mid-IR quantum cascade lasers for improved chemical species detection.

Description: The goal of our project was to examine a novel quantum cascade laser design that should inherently increase the output power of the laser while simultaneously providing a broad tuning range. Such a laser source enables multiple chemical species identification with a single laser and/or very broad frequency coverage with a small number of different lasers, thus reducing the size and cost of laser based chemical detection systems. In our design concept, the discrete states in quantum cascade lasers are replaced by minibands made of multiple closely spaced electron levels. To facilitate the arduous task of designing miniband-to-miniband quantum cascade lasers, we developed a program that works in conjunction with our existing modeling software to completely automate the design process. Laser designs were grown, characterized, and iterated. The details of the automated design program and the measurement results are summarized in this report.
Date: January 1, 2006
Creator: Wanke, Michael Clement; Hudgens, James J.; Fuller, Charles T.; Samora, Sally; Klem, John Frederick & Young, Erik W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency First Responders' Experience with Colorimetric Detection Methods

Description: Nationwide, first responders from state and federal support teams respond to hazardous materials incidents, industrial chemical spills, and potential weapons of mass destruction (WMD) attacks. Although first responders have sophisticated chemical, biological, radiological, and explosive detectors available for assessment of the incident scene, simple colorimetric detectors have a role in response actions. The large number of colorimetric chemical detection methods available on the market can make the selection of the proper methods difficult. Although each detector has unique aspects to provide qualitative or quantitative data about the unknown chemicals present, not all detectors provide consistent, accurate, and reliable results. Included here, in a consumer-report-style format, we provide “boots on the ground” information directly from first responders about how well colorimetric chemical detection methods meet their needs in the field and how they procure these methods.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Fox, Sandra L.; Daum, Keith A.; Miller, Carla J. & Cortez, Marnie M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A capillary valve for microfluidic systems.

Description: Microfluidic systems are becoming increasingly complicated as the number of applications grows. The use of microfluidic systems for chemical and biological agent detection, for example, requires that a given sample be subjected to many process steps, which requires microvalves to control the position and transport of the sample. Each microfluidic application has its own specific valve requirements and this has precipitated the wide variety of valve designs reported in the literature. Each of these valve designs has its strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the valve design proposed here is its simplicity, which makes it easy to fabricate, easy to actuate, and easy to integrate with a microfluidic system. It can be applied to either gas phase or liquid phase systems. This novel design uses a secondary fluid to stop the flow of the primary fluid in the system. The secondary fluid must be chosen based on the type of flow that it must stop. A dielectric fluid must be used for a liquid phase flow driven by electroosmosis, and a liquid with a large surface tension should be used to stop a gas phase flow driven by a weak pressure differential. Experiments were carried out investigating certain critical functions of the design. These experiments verified that the secondary fluid can be reversibly moved between its 'valve opened' and 'valve closed' positions, where the secondary fluid remained as one contiguous piece during this transport process. The experiments also verified that when Fluorinert is used as the secondary fluid, the valve can break an electric circuit. It was found necessary to apply a hydrophobic coating to the microchannels to stop the primary fluid, an aqueous electrolyte, from wicking past the Fluorinert and short-circuiting the valve. A simple model was used to develop valve designs that could be closed using an electrokinetic ...
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Cummings, Eric B.; Kanouff, Michael P. & Rush, Brian M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary tables of six commercially available entry control and contraband detection technologies.

Description: Existing contraband detection and entry control devices such as metal detectors, X-ray machines, and radiation monitors were investigated for their capability to operate in an automated environment. In addition, a limited number of new devices for detection of explosives, chemicals, and biological agents were investigated for their feasibility for inclusion in future physical security systems. The tables in this document resulted from this investigation, which was part of a conceptual design upgrade for the United States Mints. This summary of commercially available technologies was written to provide a reference for physical security upgrades at other sites.
Date: July 1, 2005
Creator: Hunter, John Anthony
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data for Users of Handheld Ion Mobility Spectrometers

Description: Chemical detection technology end-user surveys conducted by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 2005 and 2007 indicated that first responders believed manufacturers’ claims for instruments sometimes were not supported in field applications, and instruments sometimes did not meet their actual needs. Based on these findings, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked INL to conduct a similar survey for handheld ion mobility spectrometers (IMS), which are used by a broad community of first responders as well as for other applications. To better access this broad community, the INL used the Center for Technology Commercialization, Inc. (CTC), Public Safety Technology Center (PSTC) to set up an online framework to gather information from users of handheld IMS units. This framework (Survey Monkey) was then used to perform an online Internet survey, augmented by e-mail prompts, to get information from first responders and personnel from various agencies about their direct experience with handheld IMS units. Overall, 478 individuals responded to the survey. Of these, 174 respondents actually owned a handheld IMS. Performance and satisfaction data from these 174 respondents are captured in this report. The survey identified the following observations: • The most common IMS unit used by respondents was the Advanced Portable Detector (APD 2000), followed by ChemRae, Sabre 4000, Sabre 2000, Draeger Multi IMS, Chemical Agent Monitor-2, Chemical Agent Monitor, Vapor Tracer, and Vapor Tracer 2. • The primary owners were HazMat teams (20%), fire services (14%), local police (12%), and sheriffs’ departments (9%). • IMS units are seldom used as part of an integrated system for detecting and identifying chemicals but instead are used independently. • Respondents are generally confused about the capabilities of their IMS unit. This is probably a result of lack of training. • Respondents who had no training or fewer than 8 hours were not satisfied with ...
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Daum, Keith A. & Fox, Sandra L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Integration of biological ion channels onto optically addressable micro-fluidic electrode arrays for single molecule characterization.

Description: The challenge of modeling the organization and function of biological membranes on a solid support has received considerable attention in recent years, primarily driven by potential applications in biosensor design. Affinity-based biosensors show great promise for extremely sensitive detection of BW agents and toxins. Receptor molecules have been successfully incorporated into phospholipid bilayers supported on sensing platforms. However, a collective body of data detailing a mechanistic understanding of membrane processes involved in receptor-substrate interactions and the competition between localized perturbations and delocalized responses resulting in reorganization of transmembrane protein structure, has yet to be produced. This report describes a systematic procedure to develop detailed correlation between (recognition-induced) protein restructuring and function of a ligand gated ion channel by combining single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and single channel current recordings. This document is divided into three sections: (1) reported are the thermodynamics and diffusion properties of gramicidin using single molecule fluorescence imaging and (2) preliminary work on the 5HT{sub 3} serotonin receptor. Thirdly, we describe the design and fabrication of a miniaturized platform using the concepts of these two technologies (spectroscopic and single channel electrochemical techniques) for single molecule analysis, with a longer term goal of using the physical and electronic changes caused by a specific molecular recognition event as a transduction pathway in affinity based biosensors for biotoxin detection.
Date: December 1, 2004
Creator: Brozik, Susan Marie; Frink, Laura J. Douglas; Bachand, George David; Keller, David J. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Patrick, Elizabeth L.; Marshall, Jason A. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM) et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress Report on Frequency - Modulated Differential Absorption Lidar

Description: Modeling done at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in FY2000 predicted improved sensitivity for remote chemical detection by differential absorption lidar (DIAL) if frequency-modulated (FM) lasers were used. This improved sensitivity results from faster averaging away of speckle noise and the recently developed quantum cascade (QC) lasers offer the first practical method for implementing this approach in the molecular fingerprint region of the infrared. To validate this model prediction, a simple laboratory bench FM-DIAL system was designed, assembled, tested, and laboratory-scale experiments were carried out during FY2001. Preliminary results of the FM DIAL experiments confirm the speckle averaging advantages predicted by the models. In addition, experiments were performed to explore the use of hybrid QC - CO2 lasers for achieving sufficient frequency-modulated laser power to enable field experiments at longer ranges (up to one kilometer or so). This approach will allow model validation at realistic ranges much sooner than would be possible if one had to first develop master oscillator - power amplifier systems utilizing only QC devices. Amplification of a QC laser with a CO2 laser was observed in the first hybrid laser experiments, but the low gain and narrow linewidth of the CO2 laser available for these experiments prevented production of a high-power FM laser beam.
Date: December 15, 2001
Creator: Cannon, Bret D.; Harper, Warren W.; Myers, Tanya L.; Taubman, Matthew S.; Williams, Richard M. & Schultz, John F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Miniature Chemical Sensor

Description: A new chemical detection technology has been realized that addresses DOE environmental management needs. The new technology is based on a variant of the sensitive optical absorption technique, cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS). Termed evanescent-wave cavity ring-down spectroscopy (EW-CRDS), the technology employs a miniature solid-state optical resonator having an extremely high Q-factor as the sensing element, where the high-Q is achieved by using ultra-low-attenuation optical materials, ultra-smooth surfaces, and ultra-high reflectivity coatings, as well as low-diffraction-loss designs. At least one total-internal reflection (TIR) mirror is integral to the resonator permitting the concomitant evanescent wave to probe the ambient environment. Several prototypes have been designed, fabricated, characterized, and applied to chemical detection. Moreover, extensions of the sensing concept have been explored to enhance selectivity, sensitivity, and range of application. Operating primarily in the visible and near IR regions, the technology inherently enables remote detection by optical fiber. Producing 11 archival publications, 5 patents, 19 invited talks, 4 conference proceedings, a CRADA, and a patent-license agreement, the project has realized a new chemical detection technology providing >100 times more sensitivity than comparable technologies, while also providing practical advantages.
Date: December 13, 2004
Creator: Pipino, Andrew C. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micro flame-based detector suite for universal gas sensing.

Description: A microflame-based detector suit has been developed for sensing of a broad range of chemical analytes. This detector combines calorimetry, flame ionization detection (FID), nitrogen-phosphorous detection (NPD) and flame photometric detection (FPD) modes into one convenient platform based on a microcombustor. The microcombustor consists in a micromachined microhotplate with a catalyst or low-work function material added to its surface. For the NPD mode a low work function material selectively ionizes chemical analytes; for all other modes a supported catalyst such as platinum/alumina is used. The microcombustor design permits rapid, efficient heating of the deposited film at low power. To perform calorimetric detection of analytes, the change in power required to maintain the resistive microhotplate heater at a constant temperature is measured. For FID and NPD modes, electrodes are placed around the microcombustor flame zone and an electrometer circuit measures the production of ions. For FPD, the flame zone is optically interrogated to search for light emission indicative of deexcitation of flame-produced analyte compounds. The calorimetric and FID modes respond generally to all hydrocarbons, while sulfur compounds only alarm in the calorimetric mode, providing speciation. The NPD mode provides 10,000:1 selectivity of nitrogen and phosphorous compounds over hydrocarbons. The FPD can distinguish between sulfur and phosphorous compounds. Importantly all detection modes can be established on one convenient microcombustor platform, in fact the calorimetric, FID and FPD modes can be achieved simultaneously on only one microcombustor. Therefore, it is possible to make a very universal chemical detector array with as little as two microcombustor elements. A demonstration of the performance of the microcombustor in each of the detection modes is provided herein.
Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Hamilton, Thomas Warren; Washburn, Cody M.; Moorman, Matthew Wallace; Manley, Robert George; Lewis, Patrick Raymond; Miller, James Edward et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Small acid soluble proteins for rapid spore identification.

Description: This one year LDRD addressed the problem of rapid characterization of bacterial spores such as those from the genus Bacillus, the group that contains pathogenic spores such as B. anthracis. In this effort we addressed the feasibility of using a proteomics based approach to spore characterization using a subset of conserved spore proteins known as the small acid soluble proteins or SASPs. We proposed developing techniques that built on our previous expertise in microseparations to rapidly characterize or identify spores. An alternative SASP extraction method was developed that was amenable to both the subsequent fluorescent labeling required for laser-induced fluorescence detection and the low ionic strength requirements for isoelectric focusing. For the microseparations, both capillary isoelectric focusing and chip gel electrophoresis were employed. A variety of methods were evaluated to improve the molecular weight resolution for the SASPs, which are in a molecular weight range that is not well resolved by the current methods. Isoelectric focusing was optimized and employed to resolve the SASPs using UV absorbance detection. Proteomic signatures of native wild type Bacillus spores and clones genetically engineered to produce altered SASP patterns were assessed by slab gel electrophoresis, capillary isoelectric focusing with absorbance detection as well as microchip based gel electrophoresis employing sensitive laser-induced fluorescence detection.
Date: December 1, 2006
Creator: Branda, Steven S.; Lane, Todd W.; VanderNoot, Victoria A. & Jokerst, Amanda S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department