Abstract

Schemes of conditional data processing are evaluated based on either the peak-to-base ratio or the signal-to-noise ratio as a metric for analyte detection in single-shot laser-induced breakdown spectra. The analyte signal investigated is the 288.1-nm Si i emission line provided by an aerosol stream of monodisperse 2.5-µm-sized silica microspheres. Both the Si emission line and a spectral region corresponding to continuum emission are used to evaluate the statistical distribution of spectral noise. The probability of false hits is determined by evaluating various conditional processing thresholds. As the detection threshold increases, the rate of detected silica particle hits decreases along with the expected fraction of false-particle hits (i.e., spectral noise). For all threshold values the signal-to-noise ratio is found to provide a more robust metric for single-shot analyte detection compared with the peak-to-base ratio.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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