When performing laser-induced plasma spectroscopy for elemental analysis, the sensitivity could be significantly enhanced if the plume was resonantly rekindled by a dye laser pulse. The extent of the enhancement was found to depend on the ambient gas. Air, nitrogen, helium, argon and xenon at pressures ranging from vacuum to 1 bar were investigated. In vacuum, the analyte signal was boosted because of reduced cooling, but it soon decayed as the plume freely expanded. By choosing the right ambient gas at the right pressure, the expanding plume could be confined as well as thermally insulated to maximize the analyte signal. For instance, an ambient of 13 mbar xenon yielded a signal-to-noise ratio of 110. That ratio was 53 when the pellet was ablated in air, and decreased further to 5 if the dye laser was tuned off resonance.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Ambient gas effects
- Double-pulse approach
- Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy
- Resonance-enhanced laser-induced plasma spectroscopy