Significance of ambient conditions in uranium absorption and emission features of laser ablation plasmas

P. J. Skrodzki, N. P. Shah, N. Taylor, K. C. Hartig, N. L. LaHaye, B. E. Brumfield, I. Jovanovic, M. C. Phillips, S. S. Harilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study employs laser ablation (LA) to investigate mechanisms for U optical signal variation under various environmental conditions during laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS) and optical emission spectroscopy (OES). Potential mechanisms explored for signal quenching related to ambient conditions include plasma chemistry (e.g., uranium oxide formation), ambient gas confinement effects, and other collisional interactions between plasma constituents and the ambient gas. LA-LAS studies show that the persistence of the U ground state population is significantly reduced in the presence of air ambient compared to nitrogen. LA-OES yields congested spectra from which the U I 356.18 nm transition is prominent and serves as the basis for signal tracking. LA-OES signal and persistence vary negligibly between the test gases (air and N2), unlike the LA-LAS results. The plume hydrodynamic features and plume fundamental properties showed similar results in both air and nitrogen ambient. Investigation of U oxide formation in the laser-produced plasma suggests that low U concentration in a sample hinders consistent detection of UO molecular spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Laser ablation
  • Laser absorption spectroscopy (LAS)
  • Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
  • Optical emission spectroscopy (OES)
  • Plasma chemistry
  • Plasma diagnostics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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