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Expansion dynamics and chemistry evolution in ultrafast laser filament produced plasmas

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Abstract

Laser ablation in conjunction with optical emission spectroscopy is a potential non-contact, stand-off detection method for all elements in the periodic table and certain isotopes such as radionuclides. Currently, significant development efforts are on-going to use ultrafast laser filaments for remote detection of materials. The application of filaments is of particular interest in extending the range of stand-off capability associated with elemental and isotopic detection via laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. In this study, we characterize the expansion dynamics and chemical evolution of filament-produced uranium (U) plasmas. Laser filaments are generated in the laboratory by loosely focusing 35 femtosecond (fs), 6 milli Joule (mJ) pulses in air. Time-resolved, two-dimensional plume and spectral imaging was performed to study hydrodynamics and evolution of U atomic and UO molecular emission in filament-produced U plasmas. Our results highlight that filament ablation of U plasmas gives a cylindrical plume morphology with an appearance of plume splitting into slow and fast moving components at later times of its evolution. Emission from the slow-moving component shows no distinct spectral features (i.e. broadband-like) and is contributed in part by nanoparticles generated during ultrafast laser ablation. Additionally, we find U atoms and U oxide molecules (i.e. UO, UxOy) co-exist in the filament produced plasma, which can be attributed to the generation of low-temperature plasma conditions during filament ablation.

Graphical abstract: Expansion dynamics and chemistry evolution in ultrafast laser filament produced plasmas

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Article information


Submitted
06 Jan 2020
Accepted
14 Mar 2020
First published
19 Mar 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, Advance Article
Article type
Paper

Expansion dynamics and chemistry evolution in ultrafast laser filament produced plasmas

E. J. Kautz, J. Yeak, B. E. Bernacki, M. C. Phillips and S. S. Harilal, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/D0CP00078G

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