Final Report: Handheld Detection System for TCE and PCEEPA Contract Number: EPD10021
Title: Handheld Detection System for TCE and PCE
Investigators: Lewis, Patrick R.
Small Business: Defiant Technologies, Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: March 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2010) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Nanotechnology
Defiant is a startup company that designs, manufactures, and sells state-of-the-art hand-held chemical analysis equipment. Defiant accomplishes this feat by designing microfabricated devices that replace large-scale preconcentrators, gas chromatographic (GC) columns, and detectors using the same silicon etching processes used by silicon foundries to make electronic parts. Defiant has been developing a micro chemical analysis system for the detection of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). Creating micro-scale devices that can collect and desorb chemicals or detect chemicals involves a combination of novel micro-fabricated structures and nanoporous materials. The first objective of Phase I research was to further develop Defian'ts tortuous path preconcentrator for better physical robustness and improved chemical collection and retention. The second objective was to develop an initial circuit board that would be the foundation and pathway to deploying a pivot plate resonator detector in a hand-held system. Defiant focused its efforts on improving system sensitivity. Although the separations are adequate, the sensitivity must improve by a factor of 20. At the end of Phase I, Defiant set out to develop a bread-boarded system far enough to demonstrate the feasibility of a hand-held chemical analysis system for detection of TCE and PCE in water. This meant that Defiant needed to show that it could collect and desorb the analytes of interest and detect them on the new sensor without the need for large rack-mounted equipment. A small circuit driving the new resonator and detecting changes when it is challenged by an analyte would certainly show a path to deploying the detector in a hand-held system.