Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy-based geochemical fingerprinting for the rapid analysis and discrimination of minerals: The example of garnet

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Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytical technique real-time geochemical analysis that is being developed for portable use outside of the laboratory. In this study, statistical signal processing and classification techniques were applied to single-shot, broadband LIBS spectra, comprising measured plasma light intensities between 200 and 960 nm, for a suite of 157 garnets of different composition from 92 locations worldwide. Partial least squares discriminant analysis was applied to sets of 25 LIBS spectra for each garnet sample and used to classify the garnet samples based on composition and geographic origin. Careful consideration was given to the cross-validation procedure to ensure that the classification algorithm is robust to unseen data. The results indicate that broadband LIBS analysis can be used to discriminate garnets of different composition and has the potential to discern geographic origin. © 2010.






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Alvey, DC, K Morton, RS Harmon, JL Gottfried, JJ Remus, LM Collins and MA Wise (2010). Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy-based geochemical fingerprinting for the rapid analysis and discrimination of minerals: The example of garnet. Applied Optics, 49(13). pp. C168–C180. 10.1364/AO.49.00C168 Retrieved from

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Leslie M. Collins

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Leslie M. Collins earned the BSEE degree from the University of Kentucky, and the MSEE, and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. From 1986 through 1990 she was a Senior Engineer at Westinghouse Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh, PA. She joined Duke in 1995 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002 and to Professor in 2007. Her research interests include physics-based statistical signal processing, subsurface sensing, auditory prostheses and pattern recognition. She is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Eta Kappa Nu honor societies. Dr. Collins has been a member of the team formed to transition MURI-developed algorithms and hardware to the Army HSTAMIDS and GSTAMIDS landmine detection systems. She has been the principal investigator on research projects from ARO, NVESD, SERDP, ESTCP, NSF, and NIH. Dr. Collins was the PI on the DoD UXO Cleanup Project of the Year in 2000. As of 2015, Dr. Collins has graduated 15 PhD students.

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