ETA's Laser Technologies Group research concentrates on the development of next-generation real-time spectroscopy tools based on the interaction of high-intensity ultrafast (femtosecond) and nanosecond laser pulses with materials. Far- and near- field laser sampling (ablation) are combined with optical emission and mass spectroscopy for spatially selective three-dimensional chemical imaging.
Research focuses on study, control and optimization of the fundamental mechanisms of pulsed laser ablation as they relate to elemental, molecular and isotopic chemical analysis. This technology is used to push the limits of detection for achieving nanometer spatial imaging and depth profiling, for fast scanning high-sensitivity analysis and for the development of completely new spectroscopic techniques (e.g., Laser Ablation Molecular Isotopic Spectrometry or LAMIS), which allows real-time isotopic analysis under real-world conditions. The laser ablation chemical analysis technologies are implemented in programs including environmental monitoring and cleanup, climate change, energy technologies (battery, solar) and nuclear security.