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Minerals 2019, 9(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020103

Micro-Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: A Novel Approach Used in the Detection of Six Rare Earths and One Transition Metal

1
Biological Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
2
Fusion and Materials for Nuclear Systems Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
3
Department of Cardiology, Emory School of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Mineral Deposits)
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Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) was undertaken using an instrument which used a high-powered microscope to deliver the light and tightly focused the low energy laser beam onto the surface of a solid sample. A micro-plasma was generated on the surface of the sample under test even though the amount of energy/pulse from a beam of 532 nm was <1 mJ. Rare earth elements such as europium, gadolinium, lanthanum, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, and a transition metal, yttrium, were tested. These elements are important in nuclear fission reactions especially for estimation of actinide masses for non-proliferation “safeguards”. Each element was mixed in the graphite matrix in different percentages from 1% to 50% by weight and the LIBS spectra were obtained for each composition as well as after mixing each element in the same amount using oxides of the elements. The data for the 5% mixture of the rare earth elements with graphite powder along with the transition metal has been presented in this article. A micro-LIBS approach was used to demonstrate that these rare earth elements can be identified individually and in a complex mixture in glove boxes in which the microscope LIBS instrument is housed in a nuclear research environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; rare earth elements; elemental peaks detection; micro-plasma micro-laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; rare earth elements; elemental peaks detection; micro-plasma
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Martin, M.; Hamm, D.; Martin, S.; Allman, S.; Bell, G.; Martin, R. Micro-Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: A Novel Approach Used in the Detection of Six Rare Earths and One Transition Metal. Minerals 2019, 9, 103.

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