Abstract

The application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to liquid samples, by use of a Nd:YAG laser in double-pulse excitation mode, is described. It is found that the line emission from a magnesium ion or atom is more than six times greater for double-pulse excitation than for single-pulse excitation. The effect of interpulse separation on the emission intensity of a magnesium ion and a neutral atom showed an optimum enhancement at a delay of 2.5–3 μs. The intensity of neutral atomic line emission dominates the ion emission from the plasma for higher interpulse (>10 μs) separation. A study of the temporal evolution of the line emission from the plasma shows that the background as well as line emission decays faster in double-pulse excitation than in single-pulse excitation. The enhancement in the emission seems to be dominated by an increase in the volume of the emitting gas. The limit of detection for a magnesium solution improved from 230 parts per billion (ppb) in single-pulse mode to 69 ppb in double-pulse mode.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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