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Effect of liquid-sheet thickness on detection sensitivity for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of aqueous solution

Oba, Hironori; Saeki, Morihisa; Wakaida, Ikuo ; Tanabe, Rie*; Ito, Yoshiro*

For aqueous-solution-based elemental analysis, we used a thin liquid sheet ($$mu$$m-scale thickness) in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy with nanosecond laser pulses. Laser-induced plasma is emitted by focusing a pulsed Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm) on a 5- to 80-$$mu$$m-thick liquid sheet in air. To optimize the conditions for detecting elements, we studied how the signal-to-background ratio (SBR) for H$$alpha$$ Balmer and Na-neutral emission lines depends on the liquid-sheet thickness. The SBR of the H$$alpha$$ Balmer and Na-neutral lines was maximized for a sheet thickness of $$sim$$20 $$mu$$m at the laser energy of 100 mJ. The hydrodynamics of liquid flow induced by the laser pulse was analyzed by laser flash shadowgraph imaging. Time-resolved observation of the hydrodynamics and plasma emission suggests that the dependence of the SBR on the liquid-sheet thickness is correlated with the volume of flowing liquid that interacts with the laser pulses.

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