Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been evaluated as a tool for monitoring trace levels of helium in gas mixtures consisting mostly of hydrogen. Calibration data for helium in hydrogen was investigated at different helium concentration levels. At high concentrations of helium (), the LIBS signal is quenched due to Penning ionization. The hydrogen alpha line (656.28 nm) was observed to broaden as the concentration of helium impurities in the hydrogen gas mixture increased. The helium line at 587.56 nm was selected as the analyte line for helium impurity detection. The effects of laser energy, the delay time between the laser pulse and data acquisition, and the gas pressure on the LIBS signal of helium were investigated to determine the optimum conditions for helium detection. The LIBS signal from the helium line at 587.56 nm shows good linear correlation with helium concentration for He concentrations below 1%. Thus, LIBS can be reliably used to detect the low levels of helium. The limit of detection for helium was found to be 78 ppm.
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