The relative merits of five laser excitation schemes have been evaluated for photoionization spectrometry (PIS) measurements of NO in air. All five schemes utilize wavelengths near 215 nm, which correspond to excitation of rovibronic transitions in the Α 2Σ+ - Chi 2Pii (1,0) bands of NO. Photoionization of the excited NO molecules is accomplished by using wavelengths ranging from 215 to 1064 nm. Excitation spectra of the five PIS schemes reveal a significant enhancement when 355 nm radiation is used for photoionization. The enhancement is hypothesized to be related to a resonance or near-resonance ionization process for selected lines in the Α 2Σ+ - Chi 2Pi1/2 band [specifically the R11 + Q21 (J" = 8.5-12.5) lines and the P21 + Q11 (J" = 9.5-10.5) lines] and the Α 2Σ+ - Chi 2Pi3/2 band [specifically the R12 + Q 22 (J" = 8.5-12.5) lines and the P22 + Q12 (J" = 9.5-10.5) lines] of NO. Comparison measurements using all five schemes demonstrate that the highest sensitivity and highest signal-to-noise ratios are observed by using the 215 nm + 355 nm scheme, for which a limit of detection of 80 parts per trillion by volume for NO in air has been achieved.
S. A. Elwood and J. B. Simeonsson, "Studies of the Spectral Dependence of Photoionization Spectrometry Measurements of NO in Air," Appl. Spectrosc. 54, 190-196 (2000)