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: October 10th - 11th 2014


The second annual “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in Undergraduate Research and Teaching (2nd LIBS-URT)” will be held at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA on October 10th and 11th, 2014.

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 archaeological 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 Frederick Sonnichsen from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and Darby Dyar from Mount Holyoke College. 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 October 3rd. To sign up for the event, please fill out the form in the Registration Tab below.

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

von Liebig Center for Science
Juniata College
Huntingdon, PA

Please contact Megan Fish or Jeff Oleske if you have any queries regarding the event.


Friday 10th October 2014

Start Description Comments
16:00 - 19:00 Registration and Student Posters’ Display
16:00 - 18:00 Welcome reception and keynote address (Pheasant Lounge) Frederick “Fritz” Sonnichsen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Saturday 11th October 2014

Start Description Comments
08:00 - 09:00 Buffet Breakfast
09:00 - 12:30 Talks i. The “what” and “why” of LIBS: History and applications of the LIBS technique
ii. The “how” and “how much” of LIBS: Funding, setting up and safely operating a LIBS Laboratory
iii. Teaching and carrying out research with undergraduates
iv. LIBS from undergraduate to industry
v. Keynote talk - Darby Dyar, Mount Holyoke College
12:30 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 14:30 LIBS Demonstrations LIBS station system in main room and LIBS DIY station in student lounge
14:30 - 16:00 Student Talks followed by Panel Discussion/Open Discussion


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

Jeff Oleske PhD
Applications Specialist for Spectroscopy
Andor Technology