Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Sub-Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Scott Goode

Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytical technique that uses the focused energy of a pulsed laser as a sampling and excitation source for atomic emission spectroscopy (AES). LIBS has some distinct advantages over traditional AES methods: ability to analyze any phase of matter, inherently multi-element, nearly non-destructive, speed of analysis, small sample sizes, portability, remote analysis and non-contact analysis. These characteristics make LIBS an attractive analytical technique with the potential for a broad scope of applications.

One limitation of LIBS analyses is the variation of the LIBS signal based on the sample matrix and introduction technique. The goal of the work in this dissertation is to develop and validate new LIBS methods that allow for analysis of a broader range of sample types, particularly aqueous solutions, and minimize matrix effects. Modified and new sampling techniques are developed and compared to traditional AES methods. Limits of detection (LOD), linear dynamic range and ease of use are evaluated. Novel sampling methods are proposed and reported with comparison to established LIBS techniques and other AES techniques. This dissertation reports experiments conducted on aqueous sampling methods, the feasibility of candidate surfaces for the analysis of evaporative residues, the use of filters to create solid samples from aqueous solutions by evaporation, and the analysis of heterogeneous samples by LIBS.

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