10 May 2011 Modeling of laser-analyte-substrate interaction in photo-thermal infrared imaging and laser trace vaporization
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We are developing two techniques for non-contact detection of explosives and other substances with low vapor pressure. In one approach, quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) at eye-safe power levels heat trace residues on surfaces at stand-off distances and the photo-thermal signal is imaged with an infrared camera. When using wavelengths corresponding to vibrational resonances specific to the trace molecules, the traces can be selectively heated and become visible in the infrared. In a second approach, a QCL or other IR laser of higher power is used to enhance the vapor signature of the analyte, thus facilitating vapor-based (e.g. ion mobility spectrometry) techniques. Details and advances in these techniques will be reported elsewhere. In this paper, we study the laser heating of analytes on substrates using the simulation software COMSOL. A model is validated with experimental results for particles of well characterized shape and size. The heat transfer between particle and substrate is of special interest, but not necessarily the dominant contributor to heat loss. Both air- and substrate-mediated heating of neighboring interferent particles is generally negligible. The presence of neighboring explosives particles affects the thermal kinetics via air-mediated heat transfer.
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Robert Furstenberg, Robert Furstenberg, Jakob Großer, Jakob Großer, Christopher A. Kendziora, Christopher A. Kendziora, Michael R. Papantonakis, Michael R. Papantonakis, Viet Nguyen, Viet Nguyen, R. Andrew McGill, R. Andrew McGill, "Modeling of laser-analyte-substrate interaction in photo-thermal infrared imaging and laser trace vaporization", Proc. SPIE 8013, Thermosense: Thermal Infrared Applications XXXIII, 801318 (10 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883471; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.883471

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