Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a powerful tool in the soil monitoring field, but the poor spectral quality limits its application. To improve the spectral quality of major elements in soil samples, a method based on controlling the ambient pressure and time sequence was introduced. Spectral qualities that include signal-to-background ratio (SBR), spectral stability, and spectral profile were all studied in different ambient pressures and delay times. The results show that the SBRs of Na and K elements increased from 20 to about 300, when the air pressure and delay time were controlled. Meanwhile, the relative standard deviations were improved from more than 30% to less than 5% due to the release of the self-absorption effect. This work proved that the spectral qualities of LIBS can be improved a lot by controlling the ambient pressure in the field of detecting major elements in soil.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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