Determination of Surface Arsenic Contamination on Steel Substrates Using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

Report No. ARL-TR-6161
Authors: Frank C. De Lucia, Jr. and Andrzej W. Miziolek
Date/Pages: September 2012; 20 pages
Abstract: Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an optical elemental analysis technique that has shown promise for detecting trace amounts of hazardous residues. The detection of hazardous materials on surfaces at trace levels is essential for decontamination efforts. For a feasibility study we have employed laser induced breakdown spectroscopy to determine if we can detect arsenic at relevant surface concentrations (1.0 μg/cm2) to determine if decontamination efforts have been successful. We were successful at detecting arsenic on mild steel samples at the relevant surface concentration, but interference from iron, chromium, and nickel elements prevented successful detection on stainless steel. Future studies will use an upgraded LIBS system that provides higher resolution and spectral regions free from interference.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2012