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High resolution resonance ionization imaging detector and method

United States Patent

6,008,496
December 28, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A resonance ionization imaging device (RIID) and method for imaging objects using the RIID are provided, the RIID system including a RIID cell containing an ionizable vapor including monoisotopic atoms or molecules, the cell being positioned to intercept scattered radiation of a resonance wavelength .lambda..sub.1 from the object which is to be detected or imaged, a laser source disposed to illuminate the RIID cell with laser radiation having a wavelength .lambda..sub.2 or wavelengths .lambda..sub.2, .lambda..sub.3 selected to ionize atoms in the cell that are in an excited state by virtue of having absorbed the scattered resonance laser radiation, and a luminescent screen at the back surface of the RIID cell which presents an image of the number and position of charged particles present in the RIID cell as a result of the ionization of the excited state atoms. The method of the invention further includes the step of initially illuminating the object to be detected or imaged with a laser having a wavelength selected such that the object will scatter laser radiation having the resonance wavelength .lambda..sub.1.
Winefordner; James D. (Gainesville, FL), Matveev; Oleg I. (Gainesville, FL), Smith; Benjamin W. (Gainesville, FL)
University of Florida (Gainesville, FL)
09/ 072,581
May 5, 1998
Support leading to the completion and reduction to practice of the invention was supported in part by Grant No. DE-FG05-88-ER13881 issued by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in and to the present invention.