2020 Volume 60 Issue 12 Pages 2845-2850
This paper suggests a method to control the focal point of laser on the on-focus position of a sample surface automatically in laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS). For this purpose, an electrically-tunable plano-convex lens was installed in a laser irradiation system, where it could vary the focal length of laser with a long working distance and a rapid response time, and the focal length could be periodically varied with a triangle waveform. Because the tunable lens was easily handled and inexpensive, the laser system could be modified with a low cost, as compared with commercial apparatuses having complicated optics to control the position of laser irradiation. A piece of scrapped stainless steel the surface of which was titled and had some roughness was investigated as a test specimen. A satisfactory result was obtained such that the plasma could be generated uniformly and firmly along a laser trace on the sample surface and thus could give the emission signal with a sufficient precision. The driving frequency of the tunable lens, which controlled a repetition period of the laser beam, was optimized to be 10 Hz when the scan rate of laser was fixed at 3.0 mm/s. As a result, it is expected that the LIBS system with the tunable lens can be applied to actual on-site/in-line analysis in material production.