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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

Effects of particle contamination during laser-based sample processing

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Project Image  Effects of particle contamination during laser-based sample processing

Laser methods of chemical analysis are ideal for space flight as they offer in situ, spatially-resolved measurements of unprocessed samples. However, such methods are also associated with the generation/ deposition of particulates on local surfaces. Here we will map the shape of the plume, evaluate the susceptibility of different materials to collect particulates and design a novel laser delivery system to mitigate deposition/contamination.

We will characterize quantitatively particle deposition during in situ laser ablation/desorption of powdered sample specimens whilst implementing the following parameters: I. Mars ambient pressure environment II. Mars analog sample chemistry (i.e., nontronite); III. Multiple distances between the irradiated sample surface and stainless steel ion guide and witness plates of different materials; and, IV. Variable incident laser intensity.

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.