U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy as a Tool for Discrimination of Glass for Forensic Applications

NCJ Number
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Volume: 391 Issue: 5 Dated: 2008 Pages: 1961-1968
Date Published
8 pages
Based on this study, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), an atomic emission technique, is proposed as a viable alternative for glass analysis.

LIBS involves focusing a high-power, short-pulse laser (usually in the nanosecond range) on a sample surface. The resulting energetic plasma is rich in electrons, atoms, and ions. The plasma radiation, characteristic of the elements present in the sample, is observed and analyzed. The proposed method for use in glass analysis is based on glass materials being characterized by their unique spectral fingerprint. Taking advantage of the multielement detection capability and minimal to no sample preparation of LIBS, the current project compared glass spectra from car windows using linear and rank correlation methods. Linear correlation combined with the use of a spectral mask, which eliminates some high-intensity emission lines from the major elements present in glass, provides effective identification and discrimination at a 95 percent confidence level. 4 figures, 3 tables, and 45 references (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2008