, Volume 385, Issue 2, pp 316-325
Date: 11 Mar 2006

Comparison of detection limits, for two metallic matrices, of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy in the single and double-pulse configurations

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Limits of detection have been studied for several elements in aluminium and steel alloys, at atmospheric pressure in air, by use of the single and collinear double-pulse configurations of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. For this purpose, calibration plots were constructed for Mg, Al, Si, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, and Cu using a set of certified aluminium alloy samples and a set of certified steel samples. The investigation included optimization of the experimental conditions to furnish the best signal-to-noise ratio. Inter-pulse delay, gate width, and acquisition delay were studied. The detection limits for the elements of interest were calculated under the optimum conditions for the double-pulse configuration and compared with those obtained under the optimum conditions for single-pulse configuration. Significantly improved detection limits were achieved, for all the elements investigated, and in both aluminium and steel, by use of the double-pulse configuration. The experimental findings are discussed in terms of the measured plasma conditions (particle and electron density, and temperature).