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Multiple Response Optimization of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Parameters for Multi-element Analysis of Soil Samples

Volume 63, Number 9 (Sept. 2009) Page 1081-1088

Ferreira, Edilene C.; Anzano, Jesús M.; Milori, Débora M.B.P.; Ferreira, Ednaldo J.; Lasheras, Roberto J.; Bonilla, Beatriz; Montull-Ibor, Beatriz; Casas, Justiniano; Neto, Ladislau Martin

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an emerging analytical technique to perform elemental analysis in natural samples independent of their physical state (solid, liquid, or gaseous). Due to its instrumental features, LIBS shows promising potential to perform analysis in situ and in environments at risk. Since the analytical performance of LIBS strongly depends on the choice of experimental conditions, each particular application needs a specific instrumental adjustment. The present study evaluated three LIBS instrumental parameters regarding their influences on signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of seven elements in soil samples: laser pulse energy, delay time, and integration time gate. A multivariate technique was used due to the significant interaction among the evaluated parameters. Subsequently, to optimize LIBS parameters for each individual element response, a method for multiple response optimization was used. With only one simple screening design, it was possible to obtain a good combination among the studied parameters in order to simultaneously increase the SNR for all analytes. Moreover, the analysis of individual response for elements is helpful to understand their physical behavior in the plasma and also how they are embedded in the sample matrix.