High-throughput underwater elemental analysis by μJ-laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy at a kHz repetition rate: part II, understanding the high repetition-rate from a fundamental perspective†
The technological advances in lasers enabled the wide application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) as a powerful analytical means for elemental analyses. Rather than commonly used lasers that operate at several to several-tens of Hz, the high repetition rate ones that operate at tens of kHz showed superior analytical advantages while implying unique excitation pathways. Specifically, the production of excited atomic hydrogen and oxygen, which can serve as internal standards, is quite different from that in commonly reported double-pulse LIBS. In this part of the work, it was found that the atomic emitters stemming from water are not related to cavitation bubbles. Moreover, the emitter productions of dissolved species, e.g., Na+, and water-related species, e.g., H-α, are two distinctive mechanisms. Towards analytical applications of the high repetition-rate system, the fundamental investigation can provide important guidelines to address real-life challenges. In this part of the work, the high repetition-rate regime of operation is explored from a more kinetic perspective.