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Mid-Infrared Emission from Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

Volume 61, Number 3 (March 2007) Page 321-326

Yang, Clayton S.C.; Brown, Ei E.; Hommerich, Uwe H.; Trivedi, Sudhir B.; Samuels, Alan C.; Snyder, A. Peter


Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful analytical technique for detecting and identifying trace elemental contaminants by monitoring the visible atomic emission from small plasmas. However, mid-infrared (MIR), generally referring to the wavelength range between 2.5 to 25 μm, molecular vibrational and rotational emissions generated by a sample during a LIBS event has not been reported. The LIBS investigations reported in the literature largely involve spectral analysis in the ultraviolet-visible-near-infrared (UV-VIS-NIR) region (less than 1 μm) to probe elemental composition and profiles. Measurements were made to probe the MIR emission from a LIBS event between 3 and 5.75 μm. Oxidation of the sputtered carbon atoms and/or carbon-containing fragments from the sample and atmospheric oxygen produced CO2 and CO vibrational emission features from 4.2 to 4.8 μm. The LIBS MIR emission has the potential to augment the conventional UV-VIS electronic emission information with that in the MIR region.