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Microplasma source for optogalvanic spectroscopy of nanogram samples
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology. (ÅSTC)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0832-1848
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology. (ÅSTC)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology. (ÅSTC)
2013 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 114, no 3, 033302- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The demand for analysis of smaller samples in isotopic ratio measurements of rare isotopes is continuously rising with the development of new applications, particularly in biomedicine. Interesting in this aspect are methods based on optogalvanic spectroscopy, which have been reported to facilitate both 13C-to-12C and 14C-to-12C ratio measurements with high sensitivity. These methods also facilitate analysis of very small samples, down to the microgram range, which makes them very competitive to other technologies, e.g., accelerator mass spectroscopy. However, there exists a demand for moving beyond the microgram range, especially from regenerative medicine, where samples consist of, e.g., DNA, and, hence, the total sample amount is extremely small. Making optogalvanic spectroscopy of carbon isotopes applicable to such small samples, requires miniaturization of the key component of the system, namely the plasma source, in which the sample is ionized before analysis. In this paper, a novel design of such a microplasma source based on a stripline split-ring resonator is presented and evaluated in a basic optogalvanic spectrometer. The investigations focus on the capability of the plasma source to measure the optogalvanic signal in general, and the effect of different system and device specific parameters on the amplitude and stability of the optogalvanic signal in particular. Different sources of noise and instabilities are identified, and methods of mitigating these issues are discussed. Finally, the ability of the cell to handle analysis of samples down to the nanogram range is investigated, pinpointing the great prospects of stripline split-ring resonators in optogalvanic spectroscopy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP), 2013. Vol. 114, no 3, 033302- p.
Keyword [en]
nanostructured materials, optogalvanic spectroscopy, plasma instability, plasma probes, plasma sources, strip line resonators
National Category
Other Physics Topics Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Microsystems Technology; Engineering Science with specialization in Ion Physics; Engineering Science with specialization in Microwave Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-204156DOI: 10.1063/1.4813414ISI: 000322202700014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-204156DiVA: diva2:637807
Available from: 2013-07-22 Created: 2013-07-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Miniature Plasma Sources for High-Precision Molecular Spectroscopy in Planetary Exploration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Miniature Plasma Sources for High-Precision Molecular Spectroscopy in Planetary Exploration
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The prospect of finding life outside Earth has fascinated mankind for ages, and new technology continuously pushes the boundary of how remote and how obscure evidence we can find. Employing smaller, or completely new, types of landers and robots, and equipping them with miniature instruments would indeed revolutionize exploration of other planets and moons.

In this thesis, microsystems technology is used to create a miniature high-precision isotope-resolving molecular spectrometer utilizing the optogalvanic effect. The heart of the instrument, as well as this thesis, is a microplasma source.

The plasma source is a split-ring resonator, chosen for its simplicity, pressure range and easily accessible plasma, and modified to fit the challenging application, e.g., by the adding of an additional ground plane for improved electromagnetic shielding, and the integration of microscopic plasma probes to extract the pristine optogalvanic signal.

Plasma sources of this kind have been manufactured in both printed circuit board and alumina, the latter for its chemical inertness and for compatibility with other devices in a total analysis system. From previous studies, classical optogalvanic spectroscopy (OGS), although being very sensitive, is known to suffer from stability and reproducibility issues. In this thesis several studies were conducted to investigate and improve these shortcomings, and to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Moreover, extensive work was put into understanding the underlying physics of the technique.

The plasma sources developed here, are the first ever miniature devices to be used in OGS, and exhibits several benefits compared to traditional solutions. Furthermore, it has been confirmed that OGS scales well with miniaturization. For example, the signal strength does not decrease as the volume is reduced like in regular absorption spectroscopy. Moreover, the stability and reproducibility are greatly increased, in some cases as much as by two orders of magnitude, compared with recent studies made on a classical OGS setup. The signal-to-noise ratio has also been greatly improved, e.g., by enclosing the sample cell and by biasing the plasma. Another benefit of a miniature sample cell is the miniscule amount of sample it requires, which can be important in many applications where only small amounts of sample are available.

To conclude: With this work, an important step toward a miniature, yet highly performing, instrument for detection of extraterrestrial life, has been taken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 53 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1253
Keyword
MEMS, MST, Optogalvanic Spectroscopy, Molecular Spectroscopy, Split-Ring Resonator, Microplasma
National Category
Physical Sciences Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Microsystems Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-251315 (URN)978-91-554-9245-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-05-11 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2015-07-07

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Publisher's full texthttp://link.aip.org/link/?JAP/114/033302&aemail=author

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Berglund, MartinThornell, GregerPersson, Anders

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