Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS): A New Spectrochemical Technique
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We have used the breakdown spark from a focused laser beam to generate analytically useful emission spectra of minor constituents in air and other carrier gases. The medium was sampled directly. It was not necessary to reduce the sample to solution nor to introduce electrodes. The apparatus is particularly simple; a pulsed laser, spectrometer, and some method for time resolution. The latter is essential in laser-induced-breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) because of the strong early continuum. High temperatures in the spark result in vaporization of small particles, dissociation of molecules, and excitation of atomic and ionic spectra, including species which are normally difficult to detect. In one application, we have monitored beryllium in air at concentrations below 1 μg/m3, which is below 1 ppb (w/w). In another we have monitored chlorine and fluorine atoms in real time. LIBS has the potential for real-time direct sampling of contaminants in situ.
KeywordsFluorine Atom Coal Gasifier Atom Counting Neutral Oxygen Atom Beryllium Block
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