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Proceedings Paper

Probing organic residues on Martian regolith simulants using a long-wave infrared Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy linear array detection system
Author(s): Narasimha S. Prasad; Clayton S.-C. Yang; Feng Jin; Ken Jia; EiEi Brown; Uwe Hömmerich; Yingqing Jia; Sudhir Trivedi; Priyalal Wijewarnasuriya; Eric Decuir; Alan C. Samuels
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Paper Abstract

Recently, a mercury-cadmium-telluride (MCT) linear array detection system that is capable of rapidly capturing (~1-5 second) a broad spectrum of atomic and molecular laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) emissions in the longwave infrarμed region (LWIR, ~5.6 to 10 μm) has been developed. Similar to the conventional Ultraviolet (UV)-Visible (Vis) LIBS, a broad band emission spectrum of condensed phase samples covering the entire 5.6 to 10 μm region can be acquired from just a single laser-induced micro-plasma or averaging a few single laser-induced micro-plasmas. This setup has enabled probing samples “as is” without the need for extensive sample preparation and also offers the possibility of a simultaneous UV-Vis and LWIR LIBS measurement. A Martian regolith simulant (JSC Mars-1A) was studied with this novel Vis + LWIR LIBS array system. A broad SiO2 vibrational emission feature around 9.5 μm and multiple strong emission features between 6.5 to 8 μm can be clearly identified. The 6.5 to 8 μm features are possibly from biological impurities of the simulant. JSC Mars-1A samples with organic methyl salicylate (MeS, wintergreen oil) and Dimethyl methyl-phosphonate (DMMP) residues were also probed using the LWIR LIBS array system. Both molecular spectral signature around 6.5 μm and 9.5 μm of Martian regolith simulant and MeS and DMMP molecular signature emissions, such as Aromatic CC stretching band at 7.5 μm, C-CH3O asymmetric deformation at 7.6 μm, and P=O stretching band at 7.9 μm, are clearly observed from the LIBS emission spectra in the LWIR region.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 September 2016
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9981, Planetary Defense and Space Environment Applications, 99810I (19 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2242901
Show Author Affiliations
Narasimha S. Prasad, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Clayton S.-C. Yang, Battelle East Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)
Feng Jin, Brimrose Corp. of America (United States)
Ken Jia, Brimrose Corp. of America (United States)
EiEi Brown, Hampton Univ. (United States)
Uwe Hömmerich, Hampton Univ. (United States)
Yingqing Jia, Brimrose Corp. of America (United States)
Sudhir Trivedi, Brimrose Corp. of America (United States)
Priyalal Wijewarnasuriya, Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr. (United States)
Eric Decuir, Edgewood Chemical Biological Ctr. (United States)
Alan C. Samuels, Battelle East Science and Technology Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9981:
Planetary Defense and Space Environment Applications
Gary B. Hughes, Editor(s)

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