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Long-Distance Detection of Laser-Produced Ions by a Reflectron Mass Spectrometer

Volume 49, Number 6 (June 1995) Page 791-797

Situ, Wen; De Young, Russell J.


Laser-produced ions were detected and analyzed remotely by a reflectron mass spectrometer for determination of the elemental composition. Detection of ions at 3.9 m from the target was accomplished. Elemental and isotopic mass spectra of aluminum, germanium, copper, silver, and complex targets such as a lunar simulant and Standard Reference Material 1834 were mass-analyzed at 1 × 109 W/cm2 (0.02 wt % detection limit), giving good correlation with manufacturers' stated elemental composition and yield. Mass spectra could be obtained in a single laser pulse. The mass resolution is 62 at mass 63 and 77 at mass 28. Such a system could be extended to a remote laser mass spectrometer on a lunar rover or satellite for planetary surface mass analysis.