Independent review: field-portable and handheld LIBS history, status and prospects

Diggity Independent Studies, LIBS, News & Press

Publication: Giorgio S. Senesi, Russell S. Harmon, Richard R. Hark. Field-portable and handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy: Historical review, current status and future prospects. Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy, 175 (2021).

SciAps LIBS is included in this invited review of field-portable and handheld LIBS instrumentation, from development history to new research and commercial applications.

Abstract: The first part of this review describes laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrumentation for in situ measurement outside the laboratory, both prototype instruments and commercially available analyzers that can be operated by a single individual. Two types of devices are described — (i) field-portable type systems consisting of multiple units connected by an umbilical (fpLIBS and (ii) handheld analyzers (hLIBS). The performance of these two types of LIBS systems is compared with that of its primary competitor technology, portable X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (pXRF). The second part of the article reviews the results of both fpLIBS and hLIBS obtained in both research settings and for practical applications in various sectors where speed of analysis is often crucial. These include compositional screening of natural and manufactured materials, quality control of manufacturing processes, identification of environmental contaminants, biomedical diagnostics, forensic analysis and hazardous material identification in the industrial, environmental, geological, cultural heritage, agricultural, biological, nuclear and security sectors. The review concludes by highlighting the key trends and challenging future directions in making LIBS technology readily accessible for applications that demand easy portability and fast analysis outside of the laboratory with instruments of compact dimensions and low weight but high performance, crucial features required for any portable device.

Keywords: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy, field-portable LIBS, handheld LIBS, fpLIBS, hLIBS

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About this journal: Spectrochimica Acta Part B: Atomic Spectroscopy  is intended for the rapid publication of both original work and reviews. The emphasis is on papers having a relationship with spectrochemical analysis, dealing with fundamentals, methodology development, instrumentation and applications.

SciAps CTO David Day contributes chapter on handheld LIBS technology to the first authoritative guide, published by Wiley.

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