Real-time, In Process Chemical Analysis for Clean Energy Manufacturing

Tomorrow I will present a seminar to Applied Materials employees in Santa Clara California discussing a new ‘Green Chemical Analysis’ technology.

Chemical analysis is a part of our everyday lives, from identifying the components of consumer goods to monitoring material manufacturing processes.

Classical chemical analysis of solid materials generally requires that a sample be dissolved in an acid solution. The cost and environmental impact of chemical analyses are hard to predict and include labor, consumables, waste products, and lost productivity. For any off-line analytical measurement process, inferior product may be produced during the measurement time. The availability of on-line real-time analysis with associated feedback process control provides cost savings across all manufacturing.

On-line metrology for elemental analysis involving x-ray and other technologies exists, with advantages and disadvantages of each. A new disruptive technology for enabling efficient manufacturing of batteries, solar, and semiconductor products has been developed and commercialized based on a 30 year $50 million investment by the Department of Energy R&D at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The technology is laser sampling and analysis of elements (periodic chart). This laser based approach has advantages of no sample preparation, no consumables, no waste products, tiny sample requirements (nanograms or less), in process real-time monitoring, and can detect every element on the periodic chart. Spatial and depth resolution on the nanometer scale with attogram sensitivity during a single laser pulse are attributes of this technology. At LBNL, we have pioneered this technology through understanding of fundamental principles and development of conditions for accurate-precise analysis.

At Applied Spectra, we fabricate instruments for measurements in application markets to include clean energy technologies. Our laser technology provides a competitive advantage for manufactures in eliminating laborious chemical analysis procedures, and minimizing the impact of chemical analysis on the environment. The presentation will provide an overview of the technology, describing the fundamental principles, the advances, available systems and several industrial applications.

I welcome questions in advance of tomorrow’s talk via this blog.

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