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Title: Spectral Analysis of Rare Earth Elements using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy

There is growing interest in rapid analysis of rare earth elements (REEs) both due to the need to find new natural sources to satisfy increased demand in their use in various electronic devices, as well as the fact that they are used to estimate actinide masses for nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) appears to be a particularly well-suited spectroscopy-based technology to rapidly and accurately analyze the REEs in various matrices at low concentration levels (parts-per-million). Although LIBS spectra of REEs have been reported for a number of years, further work is still necessary in order to be able to quantify the concentrations of various REEs in real-world complex samples. LIBS offers advantages over conventional solution-based radiochemistry in terms of cost, analytical turnaround, waste generation, personnel dose, and contamination risk. Rare earth elements of commercial interest are found in the following three matrix groups: 1) raw ores and unrefined materials, 2) as components in refined products such as magnets, lighting phosphors, consumer electronics (which are mostly magnets and phosphors), catalysts, batteries, etc., and 3) waste/recyclable materials (aka e-waste). LIBS spectra for REEs such as Gd, Nd, and Sm found in rare earth magnets are presented.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
  3. United States Army Research Laboratory
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: SPIE-DSS-2015, Baltimore, MD, USA, 20150420, 20150424
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
ORNL work for others
Country of Publication:
United States
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy; LIBS of rare earth magnets; LIBS for detection rare earth elements.