Lasers used in analytical micropyrolysis
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Laser micropyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) allows analytical pyrolysis to be conducted with micro-spatial resolution. Despite the large range of contemporary laser sources, most previous laser pyrolysis studies have been conducted with continuous wave (CW) infrared irradiation. Here, the laser micropyrolysis analysis of a Sydney torbanite was conducted with three different laser sources - 1. CW 532 nm; 2. Q-Switched (QSw) pulsed 1064 nm; and 3. QSw pulsed 266 nm - to compare the molecular analyses attributes of different laser types (?: 266-1064 nm; CW or QSw). The CW 532 nm laser irradiation consistently produced high concentrations of n-hydrocarbons, with lesser amounts of cyclic and aromatic hydrocarbons, similar to previous analyses with both CW 1064 nm laser pyrolysis and conventional analytical pyrolysis . In contrast, both the IR and UV QSw pulsed irradiation sources provided poor and varied data. Relatively low concentrations of n-hydrocarbons were occasionally produced, but most often no structurally significant products were detected. The poor maintenance of hydrocarbon structural units by the short pulse lasers can be attributed to the very high power density delivered, leading to excessive degradation of the irradiated macromolecule. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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