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Opt Express. 2009 Jun 8;17(12):10265-76.

Study on the effect of beam propagation through atmospheric turbulence on standoff nanosecond laser induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements.

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Departamento de Química Analítica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, España.


We report on an experimental study of the effect of atmospheric turbulence on laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements. The characteristics of the atmosphere dictate specific performance constraints to this technology. Unlike classical laboratory LIBS systems where the distance to the sample is well known and characterized, LIBS systems working at several tens of meters to the target have specific atmospheric propagation conditions that cause the quality of the LIBS signals to be affected to a significant extent. Using a new LIBS based sensor system fitted with a nanosecond laser emitting at 1064 nm, propagation effects at distances of up to 120 m were investigated. The effects observed include wander and scintillation in the outgoing laser beam and in the return atomic emission signal. Plasmas were formed on aluminium targets. Average signal levels and signal fluctuations are measured so the effect of atmospheric turbulence on LIBS measurements is quantified.

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