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Short Course

Course Information
Course Title: Elemental Analysis via Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and X-ray Fluorescence
Categories: 1 - Analytical Metrology
2 - Environmental Analysis
3 - Spectroscopy
4 - Water-Wastewater
Instructor(s): Randy Vander Wal Course Number: 72
Affiliation: Penn State University
Course Date: 03/07/2017 - Tuesday Course Length: 1/2 Day Course
Start Time: 08:30 AM End Time: 12:30 PM
Fee: $325 ($425 after 2/18/17) Textbook Fee:

Course Description
Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) for elemental analyses are the topics of this course with common theme being elemental identification and quantification. Theory, instrumentation and spectroscopy for each technique will be presented. The motivation for this course is that portable commercial instruments are now available for both techniques – demonstrating their utility and advantages for in situ, real-time measurements by non-experts. LIBS and XRF are complementary techniques, each with particular advantages for specific element suites and associated material or application. The course will briefly outline the origins of each method – spanning laboratory development, NASA’s use in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) upon the Curiosity Rover, launched in 2011 as part of NASA’s Mar’s Exploration Program. LIBS is an optical technique, not X-ray based. The measured light is in the UV, visible and NIR spectral region. Therefore many more elements can be analyzed compared to portable XRF. Elements hydrogen (H) to sodium (Na) may be measured by the Z, but cannot be measured by portable XRF. This includes critical elements like C, Li, Be, B, Na and others. Applications include analysis of glasses, polymers, ceramics, coatings and powders. While XRF in varied forms has been a mainstay in extraterrestrial rock and soil analysis with additional terrestrial applications including testing for lead in paint, sorting scrap metal, assessing mining samples, inspecting imported goods, for art restoration and in testing soil and water quality. The physics of each technique, i.e. microplasma generation via LIBS and X-ray generation and detection will be covered, along with associated spectroscopy (UV-Vis atomic emission or X-ray fluorescence) for each technique. Comparisons will be made illustrating strengths and advantages of each method. Contrasts to other lab-based analytical methods, e.g. flame or ICP atomic absorption or emission spectroscopy will be presented. Other analytical aspects such as matrix effects and calibration curves will be discussed. Through an integrated series of lectures and demonstration sessions, this course will provide a working knowledge of the principles of these two related techniques as well as an introduction to atomic spectroscopy and elemental fluorescence.

Target Audience
This course is designed for individuals in analytical operations, services or with needs for elemental analysis in academic, governmental, or industrial laboratories: engineers, technicians, physical and biological scientists, clinicians, geologists, forensic scientists and technical managers.

Course Outline
1. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
- History of Development
- Breakdown physics
- Spectroscopy
- Caveats as an analytical technique
- Curent applications
2. X-ray fluorescence (XRF)
- Elemental spectrocopy
- Current applications
3. Comparisons between each technique

Course Instructor's Biography
Dr. Vander Wal is presently Professor of Energy Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University where he teaches courses in analytical methods, energy technology, nanotechnology, fuel science and environmental statistics. He formerly managed a research group at NASA-Glenn, with laser-based optical diagnostic experience at Sandia National Laboratory. His present research interests include the synthesis, characterization and application of nanomaterials for energy conversion, harvesting, storage and control (sensors) applications. The course is a distillation of these modules from his graduate level course on Analytical Methods that he teaches at Penn State.