Master's Thesis by Peder Bagge Hansen – Niels Bohr Institute - University of Copenhagen

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Master's Thesis by Peder Bagge Hansen

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

An Implementation of Calibration-Free LIBS
-Towards Unassisted Analysis


Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a method of atomic spectroscopy, in which a sample is subjected to a strong, focused laser pulse, which results in the development of a short-lived plasma. By capturing and analyzing the light from bound-bound electronic transitions in the plasma information can be derived about the elemental composition of the sample under investigation.

In this thesis project I developed a method for the analysis of LIBS spectra from first principles and without resorting to measurement on calibration standards. This type of analysis approach is usually referred to as “calibration-free LIBS” or CF-LIBS. My method is based on standard methods of CF-LIBS, but many labor-intensive steps are automated by the use of fitting routines. This may perhaps be described as “going all-in on CF-LIBS” and my thesis is an attempt to investigate how far one can get along this route - in spite of the necessary approximations involved.

Also, a significant aim of the project has been to develop a tool capable of very
rapidly providing a preliminary analysis for tactical evaluation of LIBS
results during surface mission operations.

I will present a general introduction to LIBS, give a high-level description of my analysis approach and present results from testing of the method.

Supervisors: Jens Frydenvang, Kjartan M. Kinch, Morten Bo Madsen