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Investigation of laser-induced plasma characteristics in bulk water under different focusing arrangements

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Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has drawn more attention as a new technique for in situ detection of seawater, especially for hydrothermal areas. In order to evaluate the focusing geometry effect on laser-induced plasma in bulk water, four focusing arrangements were tried out with a single lens as well as with a double-lens combination. We demonstrated that, for the same transmission distance in water, the double-lens combination with shorter effective focal length generated more condensed plasma, as shown by the spectroscopic and fast imaging results. Accordingly, the moving breakdown phenomenon significantly decreased with well-improved LIBS intensity, signal-to-noise ratio, and stability. The plasma emissions evidently attenuated along the laser transmission due to the strong absorption effect of the water medium. Based on the acquired results, the performance of a practical detection window was evaluated by combining the regular lens with a customized lens-shaped optical window, and a positive outcome was also reached. The obtained results suggested that improved LIBS detection could be easily achieved via settling another lens window to LIBS system, which is considered helpful for better in situ submarine application.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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