In this work we describe a method for preparation and analysis of oils by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), aimed to minimize the necessary sample volume and the matrix effect while maximizing the detection sensitivity and measurement's repeatability. The preparation procedure consists in stabilizing the oil sample and silica wafer substrate at a fixed temperature, here of 40 °C, and in delivering an oil droplet on the wafer rotated by a spin coater. In this way, a uniform oil film is obtained, which thickness is controlled through the rotation speed. So prepared target is then scanned by using the LIBS instrument. From comparative measurements on the pure oil and oil containing 2100 ppm of various elements, we studied different potentials sources of the matrix effect. During the sample preparation, above a certain rotation speed the thickness of the liquid film is the same for the two oils although their kinematic viscosities are very different, meaning that the volume sampled by LIBS is the same. The measured oil transmissivity at the laser wavelength of 1064 nm significantly decreases with concentration of impurities, but this effect could be neglected when dealing with very thin films. The plasma formation threshold measured on the bulk oil samples decreases with the impurity content. In case of pure oil, also for the maximum laser energy here used (165 mJ), the plasma is mainly initiated on the wafer while the presence of impurities increases screening of the substrate by the plasma formed directly on the oil. The matrix effect disappears on a very thin film, here of 0.74 μm, where the C I line intensity in plasma does not vary with the total concentration of impurities between zero and 2100 ppm; simultaneously, the plasma emission becomes stable from one laser pulse to another, contrary to the case of a thick liquid layer. At 0.5 μs from the laser pulse the plasma electron density is much higher in presence of oil than on the bare substrate because of the initial plume confinement. In the optimized experimental conditions the plasma emission from oil was very intense although the sample volume probed by each laser pulse was of 0.3 nL only. By choosing properly the signal acquisition delay and the calibration procedure, the latter is dependent on the excitation energy of the analytical lines, we obtained the detection limits of 3.9 ppm, 0.49 ppm, 0.16 ppm and 0.082 ppm for Zn, Cd, Cu and Cr in oil, respectively.
|Titolo:||Quantification of heavy metals in oils with µL volume by laser induced breakdown spectroscopy and minimazing of the matrix effect|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|