Expansion dynamics and chemistry evolution in ultrafast laser filament produced plasmas

Elizabeth J. Kautz, Jeremy Yeak, Bruce E. Bernacki, Mark C. Phillips, Sivanandan S. Harilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Laser ablation in conjunction with optical emission spectroscopy is a potential non-contact, stand-off detection method for all elements in the periodic table and certain isotopes such as radionuclides. Currently, significant development efforts are on-going to use ultrafast laser filaments for remote detection of materials. The application of filaments is of particular interest in extending the range of stand-off capability associated with elemental and isotopic detectionvialaser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. In this study, we characterize the expansion dynamics and chemical evolution of filament-produced uranium (U) plasmas. Laser filaments are generated in the laboratory by loosely focusing 35 femtosecond (fs), 6 milli Joule (mJ) pulses in air. Time-resolved, two-dimensional plume and spectral imaging was performed to study hydrodynamics and evolution of U atomic and UO molecular emission in filament-produced U plasmas. Our results highlight that filament ablation of U plasmas gives a cylindrical plume morphology with an appearance of plume splitting into slow and fast moving components at later times of its evolution. Emission from the slow-moving component shows no distinct spectral features (i.e.broadband-like) and is contributed in part by nanoparticles generated during ultrafast laser ablation. Additionally, we find U atoms and U oxide molecules (i.e.UO, UxOy) co-exist in the filament produced plasma, which can be attributed to the generation of low-temperature plasma conditions during filament ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8304-8314
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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