Long range trace detection by Radar REMPI

Arthur Dogariu, Celine Stein, Alexander Glaser, Richard B. Miles

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


We demonstrate the feasibility of using microwave scattering from free electrons generated by resonantly enhanced multi-photon ionization (REMPI) for trace species detection. The laser is tuned to ionize only the selected molecular trace species in ambient air. We achieve detection of parts-per-billion of NO in atmospheric pressure nitrogen, in dry air and in laboratory air with 50% humidity. In addition, we performed at-range measurements in order to prove the feasibility of using the Radar REMPI detection technique in a remote configuration. We obtained reliable backscattered microwave signal 1m away while focusing a laser from 10m distance from the target. We have extended the use of the Radar REMPI detection scheme to more complicated molecular systems by pre-dissociating the molecule into smaller fragments which can be detected with high specificity. We demonstrate the detection of SF6 by laser dissociation of the SF6 molecule, and measuring the Radar REMPI signals obtained from the SF2 product. The SF2 is produced by the UV REMPI laser pulse itself, and a scattered microwave signal is detected from the SF2 molecule. Significant enhancement is achieved using a pre-ionizing pulse from a Nd YAG laser shortly before the measurement. The short time between fragmentation and detection allows transient fragments and fragments in vibrational nonequilibrium to be detected. This approach may allow for the identification of complex molecules by remotely detecting even short lived molecular constituents or fragments which are produced either during or just shortly before the Radar REMPI measurement

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VIII
StatePublished - 2011
EventAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VIII - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2011Apr 26 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Multi-photon ionization
  • Remote detection
  • Trace detection


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