29 May 2013 A novel laser-based approach for cleaning contaminated metallic surfaces coupled with rapid residue analysis
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Abstract
We are developing a novel approach for cleaning and confirming contaminated metallic surfaces that is based on laser ablation to clean the surfaces followed closely in time and space by laser analysis of the degree of cleanliness. Laser-based surface cleaning is a well-established technology and is commercially available (e.g., Adapt-Laser). The new development involves the integration of a LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) surface analytical capability to analyze the surface before and right after the laser cleaning step for the presence or absence of unwanted residues. This all-laser approach is being applied to surfaces of steel vessels that have been used for the containment and destruction of chemical munitions. Various processes used for the destruction of chemical munitions result in the creation of oxidized steel surfaces containing residues (e.g., arsenic, mercury) that need to be removed to acceptable levels. In many instances inorganic molecular contaminants become integrated into oxide layers, necessitating complete removal of the oxide layer to achieve ideal levels of surface cleanliness. The focus of this study is on oxidized steel surfaces exposed to thermally decomposed Lewisite, and thus laden with arsenic. We demonstrate here that a commercially-available cleaning laser sufficiently removes the oxide coating and the targeted contaminants from the affected steel surface. Additionally, we demonstrate that LIBS is useful for the identification of arsenic and mercury on steel surfaces before and after laser cleaning, with arsenic being specifically tracked and analyzed at levels less than 1 microgram per square centimeter surface loading. Recent progress and future directions are presented and discussed.
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Robert V. Fox, Robert V. Fox, Lauren Roberts, Lauren Roberts, Frank C. DeLucia, Frank C. DeLucia, Andrzej W. Miziolek, Andrzej W. Miziolek, Andrew I. Whitehouse, Andrew I. Whitehouse, } "A novel laser-based approach for cleaning contaminated metallic surfaces coupled with rapid residue analysis", Proc. SPIE 8726, Next-Generation Spectroscopic Technologies VI, 87260N (29 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017893; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2017893
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