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Issue 8, 2018
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Elemental imaging by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for the geological characterization of minerals

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Abstract

Geological studies increasingly require highly sensitive elemental techniques able to image the distribution of elements in minerals with microscopic-scale resolution. In this paper, we present an evaluation of megapixel laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) imaging for the geological characterization of minerals. The study is conducted on a hydrothermal ore sample with a complex mineral structure involving five different mineral phases (galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, quartz and ankerite). A new methodology of data treatment adapted to a multi-phase material and megapixel LIBS imaging is also detailed. We demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that LIBS-imaging technology is able to both detect and image rare earth elements (here La and Y) in carbonate as well as substituents present at the ppm-scale level in various mineral phases (i.e., cadmium in sphalerite; bismuth, silver and antimony in galena; beryllium and aluminum in quartz; and tin in chalcopyrite). These results appear extremely promising for the geological domain and should pave the way for innumerable applications.

Graphical abstract: Elemental imaging by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for the geological characterization of minerals

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Publication details

The article was received on 15 Feb 2018, accepted on 02 Jul 2018 and first published on 02 Jul 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8JA00048D
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2018,33, 1345-1353
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    Elemental imaging by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for the geological characterization of minerals

    C. Fabre, D. Devismes, S. Moncayo, F. Pelascini, F. Trichard, A. Lecomte, B. Bousquet, J. Cauzid and V. Motto-Ros, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2018, 33, 1345
    DOI: 10.1039/C8JA00048D

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