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Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) as a technique for determining the elemental composition of a chemical substance has been extended into the long wavelength infrared (5–10 µm) region. Pumping with a 1064 nm Nd:YAG pulse laser, long wavelength infrared emissions from LIBS plasma produced from potassium chloride (KCl) and sodium chloride (NaCl) were examined between 5 μm and 10 μm. Atomic emission lines with peaks around 4.9, 6.3, 7.4 and 8.5 microns were observed in the KCl sample while the NaCl sample produced emission lines with peaks around 5.0, 5.4, 7.4 and 9.0 microns. Compared with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) atomic spectra database, the 6.3 micron emission peaks observed in the KCl sample identifies the presence of potassium in the sample while all the observed lines in the NaCl sample are consistent with the NIST data, suggesting the presence of sodium in the sample. The emissions were studied both in air and under a nitrogen-purged environment in order to remove the possible effect of water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) absorption within that wavelength range. Our preliminary report indicates that the LIBS technique can be extended to the long wavelength infrared (IR) region for the identification of trace elements in materials.
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