We report the results of experimental study on CN 388.3 nm and C I 247.8 nm emission characteristics using 40 mJ laser irradiation with He and N2 ambient gases. The results obtained with N2 ambient gas show undesirable interference effect between the native CN emission and the emission of CN molecules arising from the recombination of native C ablated from the sample with the N dissociated from the ambient gas. This problem is overcome by the use of Helium ambient gas at low pressure of 2 kPa, which also offers the additional advantages of cleaner and stronger emission lines. The result of applying this favorable experimental condition to emission spectrochemical measurement of milk sample having various protein concentrations is shown to yield a close to linear calibration curve with near zero extrapolated intercept. Additionally, a low detection limit of 5 mg/g is found in this experiment, making it potentially applicable for quantitative and sensitive CN analysis. The visibility of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy with low pressure He gas is also demonstrated by the result of its application to spectrochemical analysis of fossil samples. Furthermore, with the use of CO2 ambient gas at 600 Pa mimicking the Mars atmosphere, this technique also shows promising applications to exploration in Mars.
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