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Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for In Situ Chemical Sensing

DOEI Project Funded: 2003

Proposed Research

Over the past two decades, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been gaining favor for in situ field measurements in hostile environments. The LIBS technique is simultaneously sensitive to almost all elements at the parts per million level, and is non-invasive and non-destructive. Such a technique could be extremely valuable if it can be adapted to operate at mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal vents to monitor the variability in the concentrations of elements in vent fluids over time. The purpose of this research is to begin the process of adapting the LIBS technique for operation at vents by acquiring a LIBS spectrometer and demonstrating its capability at relevant temperatures and pressures through laboratory experiments. This work represents the initial phase of a program leading to the use of LIBS from a deep submergence vehicle.

Originally published: January 1, 2003