Emission following laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy of organic compounds in ambient air

Alexander Portnov, Salman Rosenwaks, Ilana Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was applied to nitroaromatic (NC) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) samples in ambient air to characterize their resultant emission. Compounds covering various surfaces were ablated by use of the second (532-nm) or the fourth (266-nm) harmonic of a nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The emission consisted of spectral features related mostly to CN and C2molecular fragments and to C, H, N, and O atomic fragments. The transitions of the molecular fragments correspond to the CN (B2+-X2+) violet system and the C2(d3πg–α3πu) Swan system; the intensity of the former is higher in NCs than in PAHs. The intensity ratios between C2and CN and between O and N correlate to the molecular structure, suggesting the possibility of distinguishing one chemical class from another and in optimum cases even identifying specific compounds by use of LIBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2835-2842
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number15
StatePublished - 20 May 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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