Reduced-Cost, Ambient Desorption Optical Emission Spectroscopy for Performing Elemental Analysis (2016-018)

Market Overview:

This analytical instrument uses ambient desorption optical emission spectroscopy (AD-OES) to perform elemental analysis on samples as diverse as metallic thin films, solution residues, powders, and bulk metals – directly from the solid state. Ambient desorption refers to the capability to analyze substances in their native state, and the ability to do AD-OES means cost efficient, simpler instrumentation can be used to do this in-field. The market for elemental analysis is expected to be worth $6.213 billion by 2020 and the global homeland security market is estimated to reach $544.02 billion by 2018. Clemson University researchers have developed an approach to using AD-OES for elemental analysis that does not require the use of a mass spectrometer (MS) for detection or a laser for vaporization, thereby reducing costs and increasing portability of the instrument. This approach is particularly useful in scenarios where analysts cannot or do not want to transport samples back to a laboratory and dissolve them for analysis.


Application                                                                          Stage of Development

Homeland security; in-field elemental analysis                     Proof-of-concept



• Utilizes OES sampling of the plasma, reducing costs and allowing easier portability

• Allows solid materials to be analyzed directly, eliminating the need for an acid dissolution step

• No sample preparation required to affect an elemental analysis


Technical Summary

Clemson University researchers have developed a new analytical instrument for performing elemental analysis of species on a solid substrate via OES. This approach applies the liquid sampling-atmospheric pressure glow discharge (LS-APGD) microplasma to desorb material from a solid surface, breaking it down to atomic form, and then exciting the atoms so they emit light corresponding to the elements present. The method allows for the elemental composition of the surface species (or those deposited on a surface, such as powders or residues) to be determined qualitatively and quantitatively and does not require sample preparation. LS-APGD can also perform elemental analysis of liquids, particles, and solid surfaces and introduce particles without modification. The ability to vaporize metal films, bulk metals, and solutions deposited on silica wafers has been demonstrated by the researchers. AD-OES would be much more attractive than MS in terms of instrumentation overhead and the ability to perform elemental analysis in the field and simple in-laboratory platforms.


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Inventors:                        Richard Kenneth Marcus, Htoo Paing, Xinyan Zhang


Patent Type:                    Provisional


Serial Number:                62/276,364


CURF Reference:            2016-018

Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Chris Gesswein
Director of Licensing
Clemson University Research Foundation
Richard Marcus
Htoo Paing
Xinyan Zhang
Optical Fibers/Materials/Other
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