Abstract

We evaluate a new transmission grating spectrometer for standoff laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements. LIBS spectra collected from standoff distances are often weak, with smaller peaks blending into the background and noise. Scattered light inside the spectrometer can also contribute to poor signal-to-background and signal-to-noise ratios for smaller emission peaks. Further, collecting standoff spectra can be difficult because most spectrometers are designed for laboratory environments and not for measurements in the field. To address these issues, a custom-designed small, lightweight transmission grating spectrometer with no moving parts was built that is well suited for standoff LIBS field measurements. The performance of the spectrometer was quantified through 10m standoff LIBS measurements collected from aluminum alloy samples and measurements from spectra of a Hg–Ar lamp. The measurements were compared to those collected using a Czerny–Turner reflective grating spec trometer that covered a similar spectral range and used the same ICCD camera. Measurements using the transmission grating spectrometer had a 363% improved signal-to-noise ratio when measured using the 669nm aluminum emission peak.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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