PNNL recognized for commercializing technologies

new generation of elemental and isotopic analysis instruments. CRC removes interferences, enabling the mass spectrometer to better detect and measure environmentally significant metals, such as heavy metals, toxic pollutants and radionuclides, compared with conventional technology. The CRC technology, which can be used by environmental monitoring and testing firms, semiconductor manufacturers, forensics laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and agencies involved in national security, will enable faster, more cost-effective characterization of samples and materials.

Spectral interferences are a major problem in many analytical techniques. They cloud the certainty of results and limit the ability of analysts to determine very low levels of substances. New techniques and technologies that can reduce or eliminate such interferences always extend the power and application of analytical techniques. With the CRC technology, spectral interferences long associated with the ICP/MS technique have been overcome. The technology uses simple and effective gas-phase reaction chemistry techniques, carried out in a small cell that is easily adapted to conventional instruments. The approach is able to overcome interferences that previously required much larger mass spectrometers to resolve.

The technology has been licensed to ThermoElectron, Waltham, Mass., and Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, Calif., manufacturers of high-performance elemental analysis instruments. Today, more than 60 percent of ICP/MS instruments sold incorporate PNNL's CRC technology.

The FLC recognizes federal laboratories and their employees who have made significant contributions in transferring important federally funded technology into the private sector. The FLC is comprised of more than 700 federal laboratories and centers nationwide.

A formal ceremony honoring the winning entries will be held at the FLC National Meeting in San Diego, Calif., on May 5, 2004.


Contact: Lisa Brown
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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