Detection and Analysis of Aerosol Particles by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was evaluated as a means for quantitative analysis of the size, mass, and composition of individual micron-to submicron-sized aerosol particles over a range of well-characterized experimental conditions. Conditional data analysis was used to identify LIBS spectra that correspond to discrete aerosol particles under low aerosol particle loadings. The size distributions of monodisperse particle source flows were measured using the LIBS technique for calcium- and magnesium-based aerosols. The resulting size distributions were in good agreement with independently measured size distribution data. A lower size detection limit of 175 nm was determined for the calcium- and magnesium-based particles, which corresponds to a detectable mass of approximately 3 femtograms. In addition, the accuracy of the LIBS technique for the interference-free analysis of different particle types was verified using a binary aerosol system of calcium-based and chromium particles.
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