Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) Laser Dual Use

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorCheng Mengdawn
InstitutionOak Ridge National Laboratory
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsSome
Class of NanomaterialIncidental Nanomaterials
Impact SectorCross-cutting
Broad Research Categories Characterization
NNI identifier

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$440,000.00
Annual Funding$88,000.00
Funding SourceDOE
Funding MechanismIntramural
Funding SectorGovernment
Start Year2002
Anticipated End Year2007


Plasma induced by a pulsed laser can potentially be utilized for clean up of contaminated surfaces and for characterization of surface-bounded contaminates such as heavy metals and radionuclides, simultaneously. Particles are generated from such processes and play a key role in the success of the decontamination and/or characterization. To successfully develop the dual use technology for accomplish DOE deactivation and decontamination (D&D) missions and improve our understanding of particle production dynamics, we propose to investigate nanoparticle formation and growth dynamics by conducting experiments on surfaces to be obtained from a contaminated site and those prepared in our laboratories at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Effects of laser characteristics on nanoparticle formation and dynamics will be examined. These processes will be studied by characterizing the size of nanoparticles in real time using a new fast-scan (< 1 s) nano-differential mobility particle analyzer to be developed in the first year. The real-time particle chemistry will be observed using the aerosol beam focused laser-induced plasma spectrometry first developed by ORNL. Model will be developed to simulate the formation and growth process of nanoparticles produced by the laser-induced plasma processes. The results to be obtained in this research project will enable design an advanced technology for simultaneous characterization and decontamination, and provide a safer approach in protecting D&D workers from exposure to airborne particles laden with heavy metals and radionuclides.