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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 47, Iss. 31 — Nov. 1, 2008
  • pp: G58–G64

Determination of thorium and uranium in solution by laser-induced breakdown spectrometry

Arnab Sarkar, Devanathan Alamelu, and Suresh Kumar Aggarwal  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 47, Issue 31, pp. G58-G64 (2008)

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Laser-induced breakdown spectrometry (LIBS) has been successfully developed to quantify thorium (Th) and uranium (U) in solution using membrane-based filter paper as a sample support. The filter paper is easy to handle and the entire analysis process takes only a few minutes for each sample. The developed method provides a practical approach for fast and sensitive determination of actinides in aqueous solutions using LIBS. We obtained calibration curves for U and Th individually as well as as a mixture. We observed that the quantification of trace levels of U in a bulk amount of Th was not possible because of strong spectral interference from Th at the most intense lines of U, but traces of Th in a bulk amount of U could be determined. The concentrations of U and Th in unknown solutions were determined by use of LIBS, and these results agreed to within 4% and 2%, respectively, with the expected values. The limits of detection for Th and U were calculated from the experimental data and were in the range of a few parts per million by weight to a few tens of parts per million by weight.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.6200) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Spectrometers and spectroscopic instrumentation
(140.3440) Lasers and laser optics : Laser-induced breakdown
(300.2140) Spectroscopy : Emission
(300.6365) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, laser induced breakdown

Original Manuscript: April 3, 2008
Revised Manuscript: July 17, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: July 18, 2008
Published: September 4, 2008

Arnab Sarkar, Devanathan Alamelu, and Suresh Kumar Aggarwal, "Determination of thorium and uranium in solution by laser-induced breakdown spectrometry," Appl. Opt. 47, G58-G64 (2008)

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