The use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for analysis of micro- and nanoparticles is explored, including a brief review of the recent research, both fundamentals and applications, along with new experimental work regarding aerosol particle sampling statistics, analysis of laser ablation particles via aerosol LIBS for matrix effect minimization for bulk solids analysis, and a novel aerosol particle concentration scheme that is suited for near real-time analysis of aerosol nanoparticles. The statistical analysis reveals that the LIBS particle sampling physics are well modeled using Poisson sampling statistics, as based on analysis of calcium-rich ambient air particles. The laser-ablation LIBS (LA-LIBS) methodology was explored for a range of disparate metallic and non-metallic bulk samples, revealing a linear calibration curve for all six samples over the range of relative Mn/Fe mass concentrations. Finally, the microneedle concentration technique for aerosol nanoparticle analysis was successfully demonstrated with linear mass calibration curves for copper-rich nanoparticles. Overall, a fundamental understanding of the plasma–particle physics has enabled the formulation of robust LIBS-based nanoparticle schemes.
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Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry
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