Direct measurements of temperature changes were made using small thermocouples (TC), placed near a laser-induced air plasma. Temperature changes up to ∼500 °C were observed. From the measured temperature changes, estimates were made of the amount of heat absorbed per unit area. This allowed calculations to be made of the surface temperature, as a function of time, of a sample heated by the air plasma that is generated during orthogonal pre-ablation spark dual-pulse (DP) LIBS measurements. In separate experiments, single-pulse (SP) LIBS emission and sample ablation rate measurements were performed on nickel at sample temperatures ranging from room temperature to the maximum surface temperature that was calculated using the TC measurement results (500 °C). A small, but real sample temperature-dependent increase in both SP LIBS emission and the rate of sample ablation was found for nickel samples heated up to 500 °C. Comparison of DP LIBS emission enhancement values for bulk nickel samples at room temperature versus the enhanced SP LIBS emission and sample ablation rates observed as a function of increasing sample temperature suggests that sample heating by the laser-induced air plasma plays only a minor role in DP LIBS emission enhancement.
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