Nanoscale Corona Discharge in Liquids, Enabling Nanosecond Optical Emission Spectroscopy


  • This work was supported by a W.M. Keck Foundation grant to establish the Keck Institute for Attofluidic Nanotube-Based Probes at Drexel University. The authors would like to thank J. Giammarco for producing carbon nanotubes, T. Farouk, B. Farouk (all Drexel University), and J.E. Fischer (University of Pennsylvania) for helpful discussions.


original image

My corona! A nonthermal corona discharge inside a liquid medium around electrodes with ultrasharp tips or elongated nanoparticles allows simultaneous chemical analysis of multiple dissolved elements within nanoseconds. The proposed optical emission spectroscopy method can be applied for ultrafast time-resolved multielemental analysis of femtoliter volumes of liquid with a one-micrometer spatial resolution.