The goal of this review article is to provide a description of recent and novel laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) applications and developments, especially those discussed during the NASLIBS Conference, held during SciX in Providence, RI, in September 2015. This topic was selected in view of the numerous recent overall review papers that have successfully given a broad view of the current understanding of laser-material interactions and plasma development and have also discussed the wide landscape of analytical applications of LIBS. This paper is divided into sections that focus on a few of the many applications under development in the LIBS community. We provide a summary of updates to calibration-free LIBS (CF-LIBS) and associated developments using plasma characteristics to improve quantification in LIBS output, both in a dedicated section and as applications are discussed. We have also described the most recent publications studying the sources, generation, and use of molecular features in LIBS, including those naturally present in the spectra of organic materials, and those induced with the addition of salts to enable the measurement of halogens, not typically present in LIBS signals. In terms of development of applications of LIBS, we focused on the use of LIBS for indirect measurements such as pH and degree of humification in soil and heating value in coal. We also reviewed the extant literature on LIBS analysis of agricultural materials, coal, minerals, and metals. Finally, we discuss the nascent developments of spatially heterodyne spectroscopy, a method that seeks to circumnavigate a serious drawback of most spectrometers – very small optical throughput – through the use of interferometers.
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