This feature issue highlights the topics of the 2011 North American Symposium on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (NASLIBS). These include LIBS application to Security and Forensic, Biomedical and Environmental, Liquid Analysis and Fundamentals of LIBS, Instrumentation/Commercialization, Fusion with LIBS, and New Frontiers.

©2012 Optical Society of America

The Third North American Symposium on Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (NASLIBS) was held 18–20 July, 2011, in Clearwater Beach, Florida. NASLIBS 2011 was dedicated to capturing the rapid developments in the fundamental science and applications of Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). A unique feature of this technique is its potential to make remote, real-time determinations of the chemical composition of any sample, whatever its nature or physical state, both at close contact and at standoff ranges in excess of 100 m.

NASLIBS 2011 brought together experts and young researchers in the field, specialists from analytical laboratories, and engineers from industry, all of whom are concerned with applications and development, to examine recent developments and to define current needs. The central topic of NASLIBS 2011, “Transition from Research to Application,” emphasized the important developments in the application of LIBS in analytical chemistry, including field applications, and recent contributions in fundamental knowledge. In addition, developments in instrumentation, instrumental control, and LIBS data analysis were highlighted, as well as progress in the development of applications of LIBS.

The symposium welcomed 156 participants from 15 countries and 15 vendors who participated and displayed their products. NASLIBS 2011 was a great success and larger than previous NASLIBS conferences. The guest editors are pleased to have 30 papers in this feature issue covering various LIBS-related topics. We would like to thank all the authors and reviewers for their contributions to this feature issue. We would also like to extend our thanks to the members of organizing committee, the international scientific committee, and the students who worked so hard to put together a successful conference. We would also like to thank Carrie Jo Cornwell from the Optical Society of America (OSA) for her help in preparing this feature issue. The symposium organizers greatly acknowledge the financial support from the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Florida International University (FIU), Mississippi State University (MSU), and our vendors.

The members of the International Advisory Committee met and discussed where and when the next NASLIBS conference will be held. It was decided that a NASLIBS society will be formed, and the next conference will be organized within the FACCS meeting in 2013.

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