We describe a new compact acousto-optically Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state (DPSS) intracavity frequency-tripled neodymium-doped yttrium vanadate laser capable of producing ~100 mW of 213 nm power quasi-continuous wave as 15 ns pulses at a 30 kHz repetition rate. We use this new laser in a prototype of a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman standoff spectrometer. We use a novel high-throughput, high-resolution Echelle Raman spectrograph. We measure the deep UV resonance Raman (UVRR) spectra of solid and solution sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) at a standoff distance of ~2.2 m. For this 2.2 m standoff distance and a 1 min spectral accumulation time, where we only monitor the symmetric stretching band, we find a solid state NaNO3 detection limit of ~100 μg/cm2. We easily detect ~20 μM nitrate water solutions in 1 cm path length cells. As expected, the aqueous solutions UVRR spectra of NaNO3 and NH4NO3 are similar, showing selective resonance enhancement of the nitrate (NO3) vibrations. The aqueous solution photochemistry is also similar, showing facile conversion of NO3 to nitrite (NO2). In contrast, the observed UVRR spectra of NaNO3 and NH4NO3 powders significantly differ, because their solid-state photochemistries differ. Whereas solid NaNO3 photoconverts with a very low quantum yield to NaNO2, the NH4NO3 degrades with an apparent quantum yield of ~0.2 to gaseous species.

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