Abstract

Despite the large neutral atomic and ionic emission enhancements that have been noted in collinear and orthogonal dual-pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, the source or sources of these significant signal and signal-to-noise ratio improvements have yet to be explained. In the research reported herein, the combination of a femtosecond preablative air spark and a nanosecond ablative pulse yields eightfold and tenfold material removal improvement for brass and aluminum, respectively, but neutral atomic emission is enhanced by only a factor of 3–4. Additionally, temporal correlation between enhancement of material removal and of atomic emission is quite poor, suggesting that the atomic-emission enhancements noted in the femtosecond–nanosecond pulse configuration result in large part from some source other than simple improvement in material removal.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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