Elucidating uranium monoxide spectral features from a laser-produced plasma

Sivanandan S. Harilal, Brian E. Brumfield, Nick Glumac, Mark C. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Uranium, because of its pyrophoricity, oxidizes rapidly in an oxygen-containing high-temperature environment. However, so far, the identification of uranium oxide (UO) emission from a laser-produced plasma system is limited to a spectral feature around 593.55 nm. The aim of this study is to elucidate UO emission features in the visible spectral regime from uranium plasmas generated in an environment with varying oxygen concentrations. The plasmas are produced by focusing nanosecond laser pulses on a uranium metal target in a controlled ambient environment. Space- and time-resolved optical emission spectroscopic investigations are used for isolating UO molecular emission structures from crowded U atomic line emission. Our studies highlight that the emission from a U plasma, even in the presence of trace oxygen is accompanied by a strong background-like emission with partially resolved bands from uranium monoxide and higher oxides. We also report several UO spectral emission bands in the visible spectral region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20319-20330
Number of pages12
JournalOptics Express
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 6 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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