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  1. Surrogate nuclear explosive debris was synthesized and characterized for major, minor, and trace elemental composition as well as uranium isotopics. The samples consisted of an urban glass matrix, equal masses soda lime and cement, doped with 500 ppm uranium with varying enrichments. The surface and cross section morphology were measured with SEM, and the major elemental composition was determined by XPS. LA-ICP-MS was used to measure the uranium isotopic abundance comparing different sampling techniques. Furthermore, the results provide an example of the utility of LA-ICP-MS for forensics applications.
  2. Here, the goal of this work was to investigate the matrix effect of copper in the presence of sodium or magnesium in a laser-induced plasma. Varying amounts of copper were mixed and pressed with a constant amount of sodium or magnesium and a stearic acid binder. Experimental parameters such as delay time and laser pulse energy were varied to observe trends in the emission intensity of the Na I 588.99 nm, Na I 589.59 nm, Mg I 277.98 nm, and Mg II 279.08 nm lines. Experimental observations are supported by theoretical calculations and modeling that show the Na I andmore » Mg I emission intensities increase in the presence of copper while the Mg II line intensity decreases due to the increase in electron density (Ne) of the plasma when copper is added. Lastly, the increase in electron density changes the population of the atomic species within the plasma through an increase in recombination of ions with electrons, shifting the populations toward more neutral states, providing an explanation for the observed matrix effects found in these, and many previous, studies.« less

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