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Grantee Research Project Results

Grantee Research Project Results

Nanostructured Planar Waveguide Device for Molecular Identification of Hazardous Compounds in Water by Evanescent Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy

EPA Contract Number: EPD09033
Title: Nanostructured Planar Waveguide Device for Molecular Identification of Hazardous Compounds in Water by Evanescent Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Investigators: Costello, David J.
Small Business: Senspex, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: February 1, 2009 through July 31, 2009
Project Amount: $69,994
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2009)
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


Senspex, Inc. proposes to investigate a novel diagnostic tool based upon evanescent field planar waveguide sensing and complementary nanostructured mediated molecular vibration spectroscopy methods for rapid detection and analysis of hazardous biological and chemical targets in water and air. The main characteristic of the proposed approach is the use of evanescent field Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) comprising a pathlength- integrated planar waveguide sensor employing a periodic nanoparticle array on a thin film waveguide substrate. The investigators propose to develop designs and fabrication methods for nanostructured planar waveguide mechanisms to produce amplified molecularly specific Raman emission spectral signatures from the sensor. The sensor element will be attached to a Raman identification system previously developed by Senspex to obtain and analyze the spectral output. The technique is expected to result in a robust, reagentless sensor system for continuous sensing and monitoring of hazardous compounds in water.

Potential commercial applications of the proposed sensor system for environmental contamination include development of real-time monitoring equipment for hazardous industrial environments; detection of toxic industrial chemical spills in commercial/industrial chemical storage and transport locations; development of the real-time monitor for drinking water contaminants; in situ detection of contamination in agricultural production; and drinking water security monitoring.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, evanescent field planar waveguide sensing, rapid detection, water, air, biological target, chemical target, Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, SERS, periodic nanoparticle array, waveguide substrate, nanostructured planar waveguide mechanism, sensing, monitoring, hazardous compounds, water monitoring, measurement and monitoring, air monitoring,

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The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.

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