Chemistry Division

Chemical Forensics and Signature Science

Research and  development of new instrumentation and techniques for Programmatic, Energy, Global Security and Commercial  applications.

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

LIBS is a laser based technique that involves the use of a focused pulse laser beam to generate a microplasma. The emission from the plasma is wavelength resolved using a spectrograph / detector / computer system to determine the elemental composition of the samples of interest.

Portable LIBS used to measure Si in carbon steel at a major oil refinery.  Bottom: uranium samples measured and characterized at a 7m standoff distance.

Top: Portable LIBS used to measure Si in carbon steel at a major oil refinery. 

Bottom: uranium samples measured and characterized at a 7m standoff distance.






Click on images to enlarge

Direct Measurements of plutonium using X-Rays

  • The goal of this research effort is to develop a novel X-ray based method for improved Pu assay for safeguards applications, monitoring spent fuel reprocessing plant processes, and insuring more accurate Pu accounting.
  • The advantage of this method over existing ones is the direct measurement of actinide elements.

Elemental map of 40 ng Pu distribution in a real nuclear spent fuel sample containing fission product elements.

Elemental map of 40 ng Pu distribution in a real nuclear spent fuel sample containing fission product elements.











LA-UR-14-23081

May 2014

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