Column: Lasers and Optics Interface

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for Soil Measurements: Recent Progress and Potential

April 01, 2020

The unique strengths of LIBS-sample preparation optional, stand-off detection, portability, speed, and sensitive light element detection-point to future directions and potential for LIBS as a tool for soil measurements in precision agriculture.

The Rise of the Upconversion Materials

January 01, 2020

An important class of nanoparticles made of “upconversion” materials has found a central role in sensing. These nanoparticles are used to convert longer-wavelength photons into shorter-wavelength fluorescence to detect temperature, pH, gas molecules, ions, and trace biomolecules.

Advances in the Applications of Lasers for Bioimaging: Light Sheet Microscopy

October 01, 2019

Lasers allow advances for investigation of biological samples. Discussed here are some of the most interesting recent developments in light sheet microscopy for bioimaging, including a technique that allows for unique viewing of large, intact samples including biopsies.

Expert Perspectives on Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

April 01, 2019

LIBS has transitioned from a method found only in research laboratories, to a technique in wide use in commercial settings. Several leading LIBS experts share their views on how the technique has developed and where it is heading.

Broadband High-Brightness Sources for Spectroscopy

January 01, 2019

n the near past, discharge lamps, dye lasers, and optical parametric oscillators were the only useful sources for spectroscopy. New broadband sources, such as supercontinuum lasers, laser-driven plasma sources, and high-brightness light-emitting diodes (LEDs), are now available. We look at what these options offer for spectroscopy.

Tunable Diode Lasers for Trace Gas Detection: Methods, Developments, and Future Outlook

October 01, 2018

Tunable diode laser absorption spectroscopy is hitting the mainstream. Here, we look at the history of the technique, the current state of the technology, and future challenges.

Ultrafast Lasers in Spectroscopy—Moving into the Mainstream

April 01, 2018

A look at how high-powered ultrafast lasers are moving toward widespread use in spectroscopy and in industrial settings and the developments that are driving these changes

Improving SERS Diagnostics with Hollow-Core Negative Curvature Fibers

January 01, 2018

Novel optical probes using hollow-core negative curvature fibers can significantly improve the capabilities of Raman sensing, including surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

Combining Broadband Spectra and Machine Learning to Derive Material Properties

October 01, 2017

With methods such as infrared, Raman, and LIBS, the spectral background contains a wealth of information about material properties of the sample. Now, such information can be derived by artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

Laser Ablation–Based Chemical Analysis Techniques: A Short Review

June 01, 2017

This review describes the most common approaches to laser ablation-LIBS and LA-ICP-MS-and provides an introduction to laser-ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry.