Abstract

A compact spark-induced plasma spectroscopic device was developed to detect elements used in a variety of applications. The system consists of a spark generator connected to tungsten electrodes, a custom-built delay generator, and two spectrometers that together cover the ultraviolet visible (UV–Vis) range (214–631 nm). The system was evaluated by qualitatively and quantitatively sampling copper standards. Prominent spectral peaks were identified using the NIST database for atomic emissions. The effectiveness of the proposed system was also tested with a lanthanide sample (gadolinium) and provided qualitative identification of the characteristic peaks. A semi-quantitative measurement for silicon and gold was performed using variable amounts of each particulate. Silica microbeads in solution were applied to paper wafers, while gold nanoparticles were sputter-coated onto silicon wafers. Results showed a positive correlation between the intensity of the signal and the concentration of each type of particulate. The variation of signal intensity was investigated to determine the repeatability, and the coefficient of variation was lowered from 60% to 25% after averaging measurements of multiple ablations per observation.

© 2019 The Author(s)

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