Laser atomic absorption was used to measure the rubidium isotopes in a laser-induced plasma. An 85Rb/87Rb isotope ratio of 2.7 ± 0.2 was determined in solid calcium carbonate samples. A Nd:YAG laser was used to produce the plasma on the surface of solid samples placed inside a low pressure chamber with a controlled atmosphere of 150 mtorr to 10 torr. The plasma conditions were optimized in order to provide the best sensitivity and resolution. A narrowband Ti:Sapphire laser was scanned across the 780.02-nm transition of the rubidium isotopes. The resolved isotope spectrum is shown, as well as the isotope selective calibration plots. A detection limit of 25 ppm for the individual isotopes was obtained. The optimization studies and the likely mechanisms of line broadening are discussed.
- Isotope ratio
- Laser ablation
- Laser atomic absorption spectroscopy
- Laser-induced plasma spectroscopy