Low-Z element analysis by soft X-ray line emission of a laser-produced plasma
A method for the rapid detection of low-Z elements in solid samples is presented. The detection is performed by measuring the characteristic soft X-ray line emissions of these elements in a plasma, produced by laser irradiation of the samples. A description is given of the determination of the Na and B contents of various samples which also contain C, H and O atoms. The signals are linear with respect to concentration up to 1 at.-%. In the experimental arrangement used, with its limited resolution, the detection limit for Na and B has been determined to be 0.04 at.-%. Therefore, there is the potential for an improvement in the detection limit by a factor of 40. A major restriction on the use of this method is the interference of emission lines, which is most likely to occur when high-Z elements are present in the samples.