Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the Geosciences
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a spectroscopic technique that measures spectral emission from laser-induced plasmas and has a far-reaching capability for real-time, in-situ, multi-element detection of any material - solid, liquid, or gas. Typical detection limits are in the ìg/g range. LIBS plasmas form over a small spatial area of 10’s of microns, allowing for in-situ analysis of individual particles and inclusions, raster mapping and depth profiling of chemically zoned minerals, and analysis of thin crusts, coatings, or surface alteration zones without substrate interference. Quantitative analysis is possible using both conventional calibration methods and innovative calibration-free approaches. LIBS is especially sensitive to the light elements (He, Li, Be, B, C, N, & O) difficult to determine by many other analytical techniques. Recent LIBS applications include light-element isotopic analysis and its use in the ChemCam system for standoff analysis of Martian rocks and soil. Miniaturization of LIBS for handheld devices has produced new capabilities for in-field analysis that were difficult or impossible to analyze previously, such as the analysis of rocks, minerals, sediments, soils, and natural waters in-situ and in real time. Finally, LIBS can be readily combined with other approaches, such as molecular techniques like Raman spectroscopy or optical hyperspectral imagery, for simultaneous multi-elemental and molecular surface material analysis. This symposium will cover both fundamental and phenomenological aspects of LIBS, LIBS instrumentation, and LIBS chemometrics for material classification and provenance determination as well as specific applications ranging across the earth, marine, environmental, and archaeological sciences.
Russell Harmon, Alessandro De Giacomo, Anton Du Plessis, Richard E. Russo and Mohamed A. Harith