Identification of organic compounds in ambient air via characteristic emission following laser ablation

A. Portnov, S. Rosenwaks, Ilana Bar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The potential of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) as a simple and rapid method for detection of organic compounds in ambient air was investigated. Ablation of samples of aromatic hydrocarbons and nitroaromatic compounds covering various surfaces was performed using the second (532 nm) or fourth (266 nm) harmonic of a nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The plasma emission following the ablation consisted mainly of spectral features related to the CN (B2Σ+ - X2Σ+) violet system and C2 (d3Πg - a3Πu) Swan system, and to some C, H, O, and N atomic lines. The CN, O and N lines include some contribution from the interaction of the ensuing plasma with background atmospheric air. There is a correlation between the intensity ratios of the products and the molecular structure, providing the possibility of identifying these compounds by LIBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Luminescence
Issue numberSPEC
StatePublished - 1 May 2003
EventProceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Luminescence - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 24 Aug 200229 Aug 2002


  • Emission of organic compounds
  • Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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