Abstract

The technique of femtosecond laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (FLIBS) was employed to investigate seven explosive molecules of nitropyrazole in three different atmospheres: ambient air, nitrogen, and argon. The FLIBS data illustrated the presence of molecular emissions of cyanide (CN) violet bands, diatomic carbon (C2) Swan bands, and atomic emission lines of C, H, O, and N. To understand the plasma dynamics, the decay times of molecular and atomic emissions were determined from time-resolved spectral data obtained in three atmospheres: air, argon, and nitrogen. The CN decay time was observed to be longest in air, compared to nitrogen and argon atmospheres, for the molecules pyrazole (PY) and 4-nitropyrazole (4-NPY). In the case of C2 emission, the decay time was observed to be the longest in argon, compared to the air and nitrogen environments, for the molecules PY, 4-NPY, and 1-methyl-3,4,5-trinitropyrazole. The intensities of the CN, C2, C, H, O, and N emission lines and various molecular/atomic intensity ratios such as CN/C2, CNsum/C2sum, CN/C, CNsum/C, C2/C, C2sum/C, (C2 + C) / CN, (C2sum + C)/CNsum, O/H, O/N, and N/H were also deduced from the LIBS spectra obtained in argon atmosphere. A correlation between the observed decay times and molecular emission intensities with respect to the number of nitro groups, the atmospheric nitrogen content, and the oxygen balance of the molecules was investigated. The relationship among the LIBS signal intensity, the molecular/atomic intensity ratios, and the oxygen balance of these organic explosives was also explored.

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