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Rapid field screening of soils for heavy metals with spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy

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Abstract

Spark-induced breakdown spectroscopy (SIBS) is a recently developed atomic-fluorescence-based analytical technique that is analogous to laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. SIBS, however, uses an electrical plasma generation method on nonconductive samples instead of a focused laser beam. Here we describe the basic characteristics of SIBS and its application to the field-screening analysis of soil, using a standard addition analytical approach. Detection limits of ∼25 mg/kg have been seen for lead, chromium, barium, mercury, and cadmium. A variety of soils have been tested, some cocontaminated with organic material and uranium (238U).

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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