Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in Undergraduate Research and Teaching (LIBS-URT)

Juniata College

von Liebig Center for Science
Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA, United States

Date: November 15th - 16th 2013


A mini-conference entitled “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in Undergraduate Research and Teaching (LIBS-URT)” will be held at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA on November 15th and 16th, 2013.

Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an atomic emission spectroscopic technique that allows for rapid elemental analysis of solid, liquid, or gaseous materials, even in austere environments. This analytical technique is simultaneously sensitive to all elements with a single laser shot and can be used in situ without the need for sample preparation. It has been successfully applied to numerous domains, including the analysis of artwork and archeological specimens, biomaterials, environmental samples, explosives, industrial alloys, and pharmaceuticals. A LIBS instrument is currently operating on the Curiosity rover on Mars. Multiple researchers have successfully engaged undergraduate students in a variety of projects. The organizers wanted to provide a venue for other professors who might be interested in using LIBS in their courses or research activities to learn about more about the technique.

The seminar will focus on the opportunities and challenges of starting and maintaining a LIBS research program at primarily undergraduate teaching institutions. The program will feature talks by Dr. Richard Hark (Juniata College), Dr. Dave Rusak (University of Scranton), Dr. Rosemarie Chinni (Alvernia University) and Dr. Steve Rehse (University of Windsor, Canada). Undergraduate students will also give short talks and make poster presentations to illustrate the range of research being conducted. Information and discussion topics will include

  • LIBS fundamentals and instrumentation
  • LIBS applications
  • Research funding opportunities for undergraduate institutions
  • Laser safety for undergraduates
  • Laboratory demonstrations

There is no fee to attend this mini-conference but preregistration is required to plan for the meals. Participants are strongly encouraged to register by November 1st. To sign up for the event, please fill out the form in the Registration Tab above.

The location of the LIBS-URT Workshop at Juniata is:

von Liebig Center for Science
Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA

Please contact Megan Fish if you have any questions regarding registration. For general inquiries about the mini-conference please contact Richard Hark

We hope to see you there!

Funding for LIBS-URT is generously provided by Quantel Lasers and Andor Technology.



Friday 15th November 2013

Start Description Comments
16:00 - 19:00 Registration
16:00 - 18:00 Demonstration of LIBS and laboratory tours
18:00 - 20:00 Welcome reception (Pheasant Lounge) Hors d'oeuvres followed by a buffet dinner
Student posters
Overview of the purpose and goals of the meeting (7:00 pm, Richard Hark)

Saturday 16th November 2013

Start Description Comments
08:00 - 09:00 Buffet Breakfast
09:00 - 12:30 Talks and discussion I. The what and why of LIBS: History and applications of the LIBS technique (Dave Rusak and Steve Rehse)
II. The how and how much ($$) of LIBS: Funding, setting up and safely operating a LIBS Laboratory (Colin Ingram & Diane Wong)
III. Teaching and carrying out research with undergraduates (Rosemarie Chinni and Richard Hark)
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 15:00 Student oral presentations and posters, LIBS demonstration
15:00 - 15:30 Personal Experiences and wrap-up


Juniata College is a private liberal arts college located in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1876, Juniata has a current enrolment of approximately 1,600 students from 28 states and territories and 26 foreign countries. It is located in the beautiful mountains of central Pennsylvania midway between Route 80 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Juniata campus includes a 110-acre main campus, a 316-acre nature preserve, and a 365-acre environmental field station at nearby Raystown Lake.

von Liebig Center for Science

The von Liebig Center for Science was dedicated in October 2002. Over 30% of the facility's 88,000 square feet is devoted solely to areas where students and professors can work hand-in-hand conducting research in biology and chemistry.



Juniata College
1700 Moore Street
Huntingdon, PA 16652

GPS coordinates: latitude 40.54407, longitude -78.061295

Plane Information

The University Park Airport in State College (approximately 35 miles from campus) offers commercial air travel service to the region. It is serviced by Delta, United Airlines, and US Airways.

Train Information

Amtrak Trains serve Huntingdon twice daily from the East and the West. The Huntingdon Station is 1 mile from campus.

Detailed driving instructions can be found here:


Megan Fish
Marketing Coordinator – U.S.
Andor Technology
(860) 290-9211 ext. 203

Richard Hark
H. George Foster Endowed Chair in Chemistry
Juniata College