I was skeptical.  Could a LIBS conference in the relatively remote town of Chamonix really be a good idea?

I should not have been skeptical.  Thanks to Prof. Jin Yu and his team, the biannual International Conference on LIBS has been a smashing success, with nearly 300 participants.  The majority are from Europe, with nearly 100 from Asia and about 30 participants from the US.

A highlight for me has been watching the continuing improvement in both science and instrumentation.  As someone commented to me, no longer can LIBS systems be made in the garage.  All of the technology on offer at the meeting was clearly well-designed and fit-for-purpose.  The combination of improving components and focused solutions is starting to have an impact, and the community is starting to coalesce around a set of excellent applications.

One set of applications remains in the lab, where (for example) new offerings from AtomTrace take elemental 2-D and 3-D mapping of samples to the next level.  In the field, TSI and others are working on handheld LIBS units for scrap sorting, metal analysis, and coal analysis.  For the complete program, click on this link.

We’re always thinking about LIBS.  Anytime you have questions about the feasibility of LIBS for a particular application, please feel free to email at steve “at” flashanalysis.com!