Abstract

The characteristics of a laser-induced shock wave plasma which was induced by focusing a laser pulse on the surface of glass samples were examined by using radiation from a XeCl excimer laser and a TEA CO<sub>2</sub> laser under reduced pressure of around 1 Torr. It was observed that shock wave plasma could not be generated by the TEA CO<sub>2</sub> laser on low-melting-point glass because of the lack of expulsion from the sample surface. On the other hand, with the use of an excimer laser, shock wave plasma can be generated, even in low-melting-point glasses, thus making it amenable for spectrochemical analysis. Initial quantitative analysis was performed on a number of glass samples, and a linear calibration curve with a slope of near unity was obtained at a certain pressure. Furthermore, light elements such as Li and B, which are usually difficult to observe by the X-ray fluorescence method, were also successfully detected with a very low detection limit of less than 10 ppm. Other detection limits and background equivalent concentrations of almost all elements usually contained in glass, such as Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, Ti, Zn, Zr, and Ba, were also presented. These results showed that the detection limit is much lower than those usually required for glass analysis.

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