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Chemical elemental analysis of single acoustic-levitated water droplets by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy

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Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy is presented for trace element detection of liquid samples by analyzing a single droplet levitated by ultrasonic waves. A single liquid droplet is placed in the node of a standing acoustic wave produced by a uniaxial levitator for further chemical analysis. The acoustic levitator consists of a commercial Langevin-type transducer, attached to a concave mechanical amplifier, and a concave reflector. A micro-syringe was used to manually place individual liquid droplet samples in the acoustic levitation system. For chemical analysis, a laser-induced plasma is produced by focusing a single laser pulse on the levitated water droplet after it partially dries. The performance of the acoustic levitator on micron-sized droplets is discussed, and the detection of Ba, Cd, Hg, and Pb at parts per million (milligrams/liter) and sub-parts per million levels is reported. The process, starting from placing the sample in the acoustic levitator and ending on the chemical identification of the traces, takes a few minutes. The approach is particularly interesting in applications demanding limited volumes of liquid samples and relative simple and inexpensive techniques.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
Visualization 1       Stability of an acoustically levitated water droplet.

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