Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Chemistry and Biochemistry



First Advisor

Stanley M. Angel


This thesis describes the use of micro-impulse radar to detect laser-induced plasmas. The MIR actively interrogates the plasma to produce a reflected microwave signal from the plasma, and the device also detects the acoustic signature of the plasma. The acoustic MIR signal is similar to the signal received by a piezoelectric microphone. We show that the magnitudes of both MIR signals are proportional to the plasma intensity as well as to emission line intensities of elements in the plasma. Thus, the MIR, like the microphone signal, can be used to normalize the emission signal to compensate for variations in laser energy. Element concentration studies show that though the laser power can be compensated using the reflected or acoustic signal, they do not correct as well for variation in emission intensity as the concentration is changed. This result suggests that variations in emission like intensity are not solely due to laser power fluctuations.


© 2010, Ardis Copenhaver