It is shown that the continuum emission produced in the ablation of an Al target with nanosecond laser pulses is much more strongly polarized than the discrete line emission. This effect may be utilized to improve the resolution of the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy spectrum by using a polarizer to filter out the continuum background. The effects of laser fluence and focal position are also reported. It is further shown that the lifetime of the emission closely tracks the intensity spectrum.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 26, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 23, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: November 24, 2009
Published: January 11, 2010
Yaoming Liu, John S. Penczak, and Robert J. Gordon, "Nanosecond polarization-resolved laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy," Opt. Lett. 35, 112-114 (2010)