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.

LIBS-Based Imaging: Recent Advances and Future Directions

February 01, 2020

ByV. Gardette|V. Motto-Ros|D. Genty|M. Leprince|L. Sancey|F. Pelascini|B. Busser|S. Roux


LIBS-based imaging has a broad range of applications. Here, we demonstrate those capabilities with examples from paleoclimate research and toxicology studies.

Developing Spectroscopy Instruments for Use in Extreme Environments

September 13, 2019

ByJohn Chasse

Spectroscopy can be difficult to carry out outside a controlled laboratory environment. Imagine, then, the hurdles that would accompany performing spectroscopy in the extreme conditions of deep space or the ocean floor. Mike Angel, a professor of chemistry at the University of South Carolina, has taken on those challenges, working on new types of instruments for remote and in- situ laser spectroscopy, with a focus on deep-ocean, planetary, and homeland security applications of deep ultraviolet Raman, and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy to develop the tools necessary to work within these extreme environments.

The SuperCam Remote Sensing Instrument Suite for the Mars 2020 Rover: A Preview

May 01, 2017

ByRoger C. Wiens|Sylvestre Maurice|Fernando Rull Perez


The SuperCam remote sensing instrument suite under development for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover performs laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), remote Raman spectroscopy, visible and infrared (VISIR) reflectance spectroscopy, acoustic sensing, and high resolution color imaging. The instrument builds on the successful architecture of the ChemCam instrument which provides LIBS and panchromatic images on the Curiosity rover, adding the remote Raman spectroscopy by frequency doubling the laser and using a gated intensified detector to obtain Raman signals at distances to 12 m. To the visible reflectance spectroscopy used by ChemCam, an AOTF-based infrared spectrometer is added to cover the 1.3-2.6 µm range that contains important mineral signatures. A CMOS detector provides color (Bayer filter) images at a pixel resolution of 19 µrad and an optical resolution of 30 µrad. Sounds are recorded via a Knowles Electret microphone, which is the same one that was unsuccessfully attempted on two earlier missions. The acoustic signals of the LIBS plasmas will provide information on the hardness of the targets, while other sounds (wind, rover sounds) will also be recorded. The laser, telescope, IR spectrometer, and camera reside on the rover’s mast and are provided by CNES, while the LIBS, Raman, and VIS spectrometers and data processing unit are built by LANL and reside in the rover body. A calibration target assembly provided by U. Valladolid, Spain, resides on the back of the rover. The overall mass of the instrument suite is 10.7 kg.

The 2017 Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award

January 01, 2017

ByMegan L’Heureux


The winner of Spectroscopy's inaugural Emerging Leader in Atomic Spectroscopy Award is highlighted.

Current Advances in the Miniaturization of Analytical Instruments—Applications in Cosmochemistry, Geochemistry, Exploration, and Environmental Sciences

October 01, 2016

ByBalaram Vysetti


Miniaturization of analytical instruments of various forms of spectroscopy has improved dramatically in recent years mainly because of the requirements in certain areas such as space, industrial, and environmental research. Research into miniaturization is primarily driven by the need to reduce the instrumental space and costs by reducing the consumption of expensive reagents and by increasing throughput and automation. Like other fields, analytical systems have also been affected by novel ideas and unprecedented advances in the microelectronics leading to miniaturization of different components in recent years. This article presents an overview of the current developments in the miniaturization of analytical instruments for mainly detecting metals at extremely low concentration levels, with some important examples from areas such as space, mineral exploration, the environment, and pharmaceuticals, focusing primarily on advancements as well as the challenges that have impacted from some of the major international manufacturers.

Improved Measurement Characteristics of Elemental Compositions Using Laser- Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

January 01, 2016

ByZ. Wang|R. Kurose|K. Tainaka|H. Watanabe|J. Yan|K. Tanno|Y. Deguchi|J. Liu|A. Ikutomo|S. Katsumori


Pages 22–35 Rapid detection of coal and fly ash is significant to improve the efficiency of thermal power plants and reduce environmental pollution. Given its fast response, high sensitivity, real-time, and noncontact features, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has a great potential for on-line measurement in these applications. The direct measurement of particles and gases using LIBS was studied, and the method was shown to be effective for this application. 

Where Can LIBS Make the Biggest Impact?

November 04, 2015

For an emergent analytical technique to be adopted, its proponents must find applications where it offers significant benefits over established techniques, such as sensitivity, speed, cost, or ease of use, or some combination of those. For laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), identifying its ideal niche has been one of the challenges in gaining followers. To assess where LIBS is being used today, what new areas are emerging, and how well LIBS competes with other methods in those new areas, we asked a panel of experts for their views.

Key Challenges in LIBS—and How to Solve Them

August 05, 2015

ByMegan L'Heureux

In honor of Spectroscopy’s celebration of 30 years covering the latest developments in materials analysis, we asked experts to assess the current state of the art of six key spectroscopic techniques. Here, the experts weigh in on the key challenges in laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), and how these problems might be solved.