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Microchip Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: A Preliminary Feasibility Investigation

Volume 58, Number 7 (July 2004) Page 762-769

Gornushkin, I.B.; Amponsah-Manager, K.; Smith, B.W.; Omenetto, N.; Winefordner, J.D.

A commercial, 7 μJ/pulse, 550 ps microchip laser is used to induce plasma on Pb, Si, Cu, Fe, Ni, Ti, Zn, Ta, and Mo foils and a Si wafer. The measured plasma lifetime is comparable with the duration of the laser pulse (a few ns). The plasma continuum radiation is low, while some of the strong resonance lines (e.g., Zn 213.86 nm) show self-reversal. Quantitative analysis is possible using non-gated detectors but analytical lines should be chosen with care to avoid reduction in the linear dynamic range. The mass removed (0.5-20 ng/pulse) is sufficient to yield spectra that are detectable with portable grating spectrometers equipped with non-gated, non-intensified detector arrays. The spectrum of Cd is detected with a broadband portable spectrometer (200-950 nm). The combination of the broadband spectrometer and the microchip laser is very promising for material identification, especially in field applications.