Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for carbon single shot analysis of micrometer-sized particles
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The purpose of this work is to study the ability of the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique to perform in situ (without sample preparation) detection of graphite particles circulating in a gas loop used to simulate the cooling gas circuit of a helium-cooled nuclear reactor. Results obtained with a laboratory scale set up are presented. The experiments were performed in nitrogen with micrometer-sized particles containing carbon (glucose particles and sodium hydrogenocarbonate particles). Statistical shot to shot analysis was used to determine the concentration of the analyte. The variation of LIBS signal as a function of glucose particle diameter showed an underestimation of the signal of particles of diameters larger than 5 μm. This phenomenon is likely to be correlated to an incomplete vaporization in the laser-induced plasma of particles of sizes above 5 μm. Analytical measurements were performed with glucose particles and sodium hydrogenocarbonate particles, and the concentration-based limit of detection of carbon was evaluated to be about 60 μg m−3.