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Approach to Detection in Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2007, 00:00 authored by M. Mueller, I. B. Gornushkin, S. Florek, D. Mory, U. Panne
Gated detection with intensified detectors, e.g., ICCDs, is today the accepted approach for detection of plasma emission in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). However, these systems are more cost-intensive and less robust than nonintensified CCDs. The objective of this paper is to compare, both theoretically and experimentally, the performance of an intensified (ICCD) and nonintensified (CCD) detectors for detection of plasma emission in LIBS. The CCD is used in combination with a mechanical chopper, which blocks the early continuum radiation from the plasma. The detectors are attached sequentially to an echelle spectrometer under the same experimental conditions. The laser plasma is induced on a series of steel samples under atmospheric conditions. Our results indicate that there is no substantial difference in the performance of the CCD and ICCD. Signal-to-noise ratios and limits of detection achieved with the CCD for Si, Ni, Cr, Mo, Cu, and V in steel are comparable or even better than those obtained with the ICCD. This result is further confirmed by simulation of the plasma emission signal and the corresponding response of the detectors in the limit of quantum (photon) noise.