Spectral peak overlapping is a basic problem in analytical data processing of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Curve fitting is the typical method of resolving overlapped peaks. For preventing ambiguous fitting, appropriate initial values must be known. The aim of this work was to present a method that could be used to determine appropriate initial values of the curve-fitting method by using fractional differential theory. According to the variation of characteristic points of Lorentzian peaks at different fractional differential orders, parameter estimators were obtained that were used to calculate the initial values of the curve-fitting method. As it is a widely used optimization method, the Levenberg-Marquardt method was used in curve fitting. Simulation and LIBS experimental results proved that the proposed method of the initial value estimation can effectively resolve the overlapped peaks in LIBS data processing.

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