Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Chemical Forensics and Signature Science

Research and development of new instrumentation and techniques

Contact Us  

  • Group Leader
  • Peter Stark
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Tom Yoshida
  • Group Office
  • (505) 667-5740

Research and development of new instrumentation and techniques for programmatic, energy, gobal security and commercial applications

Capabilities
  • Additive Manufacturing
  • Microfluidics
  • Standoff Detection
  • Forensic Analytical
  • Remote Sensing
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. Uranium samples measured and characterized at a 7m standoff distance.
Left: portable LIBS used to measure Si in carbon steel at a major oil refinery.
Right: uranium samples measured and characterized at a 7m standoff distance.

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.


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