Libs; Soil analysis; Practical powder sample holder; Quantitative powder analysis;ATOMIC EMISSION-SPECTROMETRY; SPECTROCHEMICAL ANALYSIS; PLASMA; LIBS; ABLATION; MATRIX; METALS; PB
A practical alternative of sample preparation technique is proposed for direct powder analysis using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instead of the commonly adopted treatment of pelletizing the powder. The resulted pellet is known to suffer from reduced sensitivity of emission. Besides, it may also give rise to interfering effect from the binder emission. We introduce in this report a more practical technique of using a subtarget supported micro mesh (SSMM) powder sample holder. The LIBS spectrum of standard soil powder measured with 13 mJ 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser in 0.65 kPa ambient air is shown to exhibit the sharp emission lines of all the major elements in the sample. A comparison with the emission spectra measured from the pelletized powder, the spectrum obtained using the SSMM sample holder shows distinctly superior spectral quality marked by the absence of matrix effect found in pelletized powder samples, and the much stronger intensity due to the more effective shock wave plasma induced thermal excitation process produced by the hard subtarget in the sample holder. Repeating the measurement on a number of the standard soil samples of various Pb contents is shown to yield a linear calibration line with practically zero intercept and a detection limit of less than 10 ppm. We have thus demonstrated the viability of the proposed powder sample holder for the development of practical and quantitative powder analysis in the field. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.