Particles produced by previous laser shots may have significant influence on the analytical signal in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma (LA-ICP) spectrometry if they remain close to the position of laser sampling. The effects of these particles on the laser-induced breakdown event are demonstrated in several ways. LIBS-experiments were conducted in an ablation cell at atmospheric conditions in argon or air applying a dual-pulse arrangement with orthogonal pre-pulse, i.e., plasma breakdown in a gas generated by a focussed laser beam parallel and close to the sample surface followed by a delayed crossing laser pulse in orthogonal direction which actually ablates material from the sample and produces the LIBS plasma. The optical emission of the LIBS plasma as well as the absorption of the pre-pulse laser was measured. In the presence of particles in the focus of the pre-pulse laser, the plasma breakdown is affected and more energy of the pre-pulse laser is absorbed than without particles. As a result, the analyte line emission from the LIBS plasma of the second laser is enhanced. It is assumed that the enhancement is not only due to an increase of mass ablated by the second laser but also to better atomization and excitation conditions favored by a reduced gas density in the pre-pulse plasma. Higher laser pulse frequencies increase the probability of particle-laser interaction and, therefore, reduce the shot-to-shot line intensity variation as compared to lower particle loadings in the cell. Additional experiments using an aerosol chamber were performed to further quantify the laser absorption by the plasma in dependence on time both with and without the presence of particles. The overall implication of laser-particle interactions for LIBS and LA-ICP-MS/OES are discussed.
- LA-ICP spectrometry
- Laser-particle interaction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics