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Stagnation Layers in Laser Ablation Based Analytical Techniques


"Laser ablation underpins a number of key analytical techniques employed in materials, biopharmaceuticals, security, forensics,environmental monitoring, etc. These techniques inlcude laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization with time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). LIBS allows elemental classification/quantification by analyzing the radiation emitted from a plasma formed on a sample material. In LA-ICP-MS plume constituents are transported to a plasma torch before being introduced to a mass spectrometer for elemental and isotopic mass identification. In MALDI-TOF-MS, a bio-molecule of interest, e.g. a protein is fixed in a protective matrix at low relative density and irradiated by an intense laser pulse. The main objective of this proposal is to substitute the usual single plasma plume with a stagnation layer formed at the collision front between two counter-propagating plumes which can provide significantly greater species-of interest density, temperature, plume shape control. The research programme spans fundamentals to application. The unique expertise I bring to Europe is in laser plasma diagnostics and modeling that will be brought to bear on the DCU colliding plasmas programme leading to a real enhancement in current LIBS/LA-ICP-MS and MALDI performance. In addition I intend to extend the work on interactions with femtosecond lasers and short wavelength free electron lasers (FELs) through the collaborations that the DCU group have with DESY Hamburg and LCLS-Stanford. I aim to become expert in ultrafast lasers and their interactions with matter so that I can bring this expertise back to India from where I hope to continue the collaboration with DCU and other European partners as the scientific base in India expands to embrace these leading edge technologies."

Call for proposal

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9 Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 191 359,80
Administrative Contact
John Costello (Prof.)