Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements of alkali in the high-temperature exhaust of a glass furnace show an attenuation of the Na and K LIBS signals that correlates with the stoichiometry of the bath gas surrounding the spark. The results are explained as being due to (1) a strong increase in the concentration of atomic Na and K, resulting in neutral line signal absorption by these atoms, and to (2) a change of phase of the major Na- and K-containing species from an aerosol to a gaseous phase when the gas mixture becomes fuel rich, resulting in a reduced LIBS emission intensity. LIBS sampling at lower temperatures, or in a consistently oxidizing environment, or both are suggested strategies for circumventing these difficulties.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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