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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 9513438, 9 pages
Research Article

LIBS Analysis of Geomaterials: Comparative Study of Basalt Plasma Induced by TEA CO2 and Nd:YAG Laser in Air at Atmospheric Pressure

1Vinča Institute of Nuclear Sciences, University of Belgrade, Mike Alasa 12-14, 11001 Belgrade, Serbia
2National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics, Center for Advanced Laser Technologies (CETAL), Atomistilor 409, 077125 Magurele, Romania
3Faculty of Physical Chemistry, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 12-16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

Correspondence should be addressed to Jelena Savovic;

Received 30 March 2017; Revised 30 May 2017; Accepted 7 June 2017; Published 11 July 2017

Academic Editor: J. O. Caceres

Copyright © 2017 Jelena Savovic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We present a study of the plasma generated by transversely excited atmospheric (TEA) CO2 laser irradiation of a basalt sample. The plasma was induced in air at atmospheric pressure. The same sample was also analyzed using a commercial LIBS system based on Nd:YAG laser and time-gated detection. The main plasma parameters, temperature, and electron number density were determined and analytical capabilities of the two systems compared. Despite differences in laser wavelength, pulse duration, applied fluence, and signal detection scheme, the two systems are comparable in terms of element detectability and limits of detection. In both cases, all elements usually present in geological samples were identified. The estimated limits of detection for most elements were below 100 ppm, while for Cu, Cr, and Sr they were around or below 10 ppm. The obtained results led to the conclusion that simple, cost-effective TEA CO2 LIBS system can find applications for geological explorations.