Interaction of femtosecond laser pulses with plants: towards distinguishing weeds and crops using plasma temperature Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The ability to distinguish between crops and weeds using sensors from a distance will greatly benefit the farming community through improved and efficient scouting for weeds, reduced herbicide input costs and improved profitability. In the present study, we examined the utility of femtosecond laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for plant species differentiation. Greenhouse-grown plants of dallisgrass, wheat, soybean and bell pepper were evaluated using LIBS under an ambient environment. LIBS experiments were performed on the leaf samples of different plant species using a femtosecond laser system with an inexpensive lightweight detector. Temperatures of laser-induced plasma in plants depend on many parameters and were determined for each of the study species by the constituent elements interacting with femtosecond laser pulses. Using elemental calcium transitions in plant tissue samples to measure plasma temperatures, we report consistent differences among the four study species, with average values ranging from 5090168 K (soybean) to 5647223 K (dallisgrass).

published proceedings

  • Journal of Modern Optics

author list (cited authors)

  • Kunz, J. N., Voronine, D. V., Ko, B. A., Lee, H., Rana, A., Bagavathiannan, M. V., Sokolov, A. V., & Scully, M. O.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Kunz, Jeremy N||Voronine, Dmitri V||Ko, Brian A||Lee, Ho Wai Howard||Rana, Aman||Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V||Sokolov, Alexei V||Scully, Marlan O

publication date

  • May 2017