Spectroscopy is the study of materials interaction with light, generally through absorption, scattering or transmission and is a very powerful tool in material science. The amount of material interaction depends on the energy, or wavelength of light and can provide a wealth of information about that material’s physical properties.
For example, standoff detection of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) is urgently needed to provide wide area surveillance and early warning before our troops reach a potentially explosive zone. Unfortunately, existing technologies tend to have limited range, are overly bulky, rely on photoionizing radiation and are too slow. RMD’s scientists have been pursuing the development of tools that would advance established spectroscopic techniques to help solve this need.
RMD’s scientists are actively utilizing spectroscopic techniques, including both contact and standoff methods to try to better quantify or identify material properties. These techniques include:
- Tip Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
- Laser Induced Bombardment Spectroscopy (LIBS)
- Tip-enhance Raman spectroscopy (TERS)
Scientists at RMD are actively involved in designing new modes of single molecule detection. As part of instrument development they utilize Monte Carlo techniques to model light behavior.