Abstract

A study was undertaken to determine if laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) can be a practical and competitive alternative to x-ray fluorescence (XRF) methods for lead-in-paint inspection. Experiments in the laboratory confirmed that LIBS is suitable for detecting lead in paint at the hazard levels defined by federal agencies. Although we compared speed, function, and cost, fundamental differences between the XRF and LIBS measurements limited our ability to make a quantitative performance comparison. While the LIBS method can achieve the required sensitivity and offers a way to obtain unique information during inspection, the current component costs will likely restrict interest in the method to niche applications.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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