Abstract

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation (LA) inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometry (MS) were utilized for microspatial analyses of a prehistoric bear (Ursus arctos) tooth dentine. The distribution of selected trace elements (Sr, Ba, Fe) was measured on a 26mm×15mm large and 3mm thick transverse cross section of a canine tooth. The Na and Mg content together with the distribution of matrix elements (Ca, P) was also monitored within this area. The depth of the LIBS craters was measured with an optical profilometer. As shown, both LIBS and LA-ICP-MS can be successfully used for the fast, spatially resolved analysis of prehistoric teeth samples. In addition to micro chemical analysis, the sample hardness was calculated using LIBS plasma ionic-to-atomic line intensity ratios of Mg (or Ca). To validate the sample hardness calculations, the hardness was also measured with a Vickers microhardness tester.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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