Laser-induced optical breakdown spectroscopy of polymer materials based on evaluation of molecular emission bands
Abstract Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for composition analysis of polymer materials results in optical spectra containing atomic and ionic emission lines as well as molecular emission bands. In the present work, the molecular bands are analyzed to obtain spectroscopic information about the plasma state in an effort to quantify the content of different elements in the polymers. Polyethylene (PE) and a rubber material from tire production are investigated employing 157nmF 2 laser and 532nm Nd:YAG laser ablation in nitrogen and argon gas background or in air. The optical detection reaches from ultraviolet (UV) over the visible (VIS) to the near infrared (NIR) spectral range. In the UV/VIS range, intense molecular emissions, C 2 Swan and CN violet bands, are measured with an Echelle spectrometer equipped with an intensified CCD camera. The measured molecular emission spectra can be fitted by vibrational-rotational transitions by open access programs and data sets with good agreement between measured and fitted spectra. The fits allow determining vibrational-rotational temperatures. A comparison to electronic temperatures T e derived earlier from atomic carbon vacuum-UV (VUV) emission lines show differences, which can be related to different locations of the atomic and molecular species in the expanding plasma plume. In the NIR spectral region, we also observe the CN red bands with a conventional CDD Czerny Turner spectrometer. The emission of the three strong atomic sulfur lines between 920 and 925nm is overlapped by these bands. Fitting of the CN red bands allows a separation of both spectral contributions. This makes a quantitative evaluation of sulfur contents in the start material in the order of 1wt% feasible. Highlights Molecular laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) of polymer materials Molecular emission spectra can be fitted by open access programs and data sets. Direct comparison of temperatures derived from molecular emission spectra and atomic carbon VUV lines Data set for evaluation of the CN red system by means of open access programs Subtraction of contributions from the CN red system allows determination of sulfur content in rubber. Graphical Abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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