Assessment and forensic application of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) for the discrimination of Australian window glass

Moteaa El-Deftar, Naomi Speers, Stephen Eggins, Simon FOSTER, James ROBERTSON, Chris LENNARD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


A commercially available laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument was evaluated for the determination of elemental composition of twenty Australian window glass samples, consisting of 14 laminated samples and 6 non-laminated samples (or not otherwise specified) collected from broken windows at crime scenes. In this study, the LIBS figures of merit were assessed in terms of accuracy, limits of detection and precision using three standard reference materials (NIST 610, 612, and 1831). The discrimination potential of LIBS was compared to that obtained using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS), X-ray microfluorescence spectroscopy (mXRF) and scanning electron microscopy energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM-EDX) for the analysis of architectural window glass samples collected from crime scenes in the Canberra region, Australia. Pairwise comparisons were performed using a three-sigma rule, two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s HSD test at 95% confidence limit in order to investigate the discrimination power for window glass analysis. The results show that the elemental analysis of glass by LIBS provides a discrimination power greater than 97% (>98% when combined with refractive index data), which was comparable to the discrimination powers obtained by LA-ICP-MS and mXRF. These results indicate that LIBS is a feasible alternative to the more expensive LA-ICP-MS and mXRF options for the routine forensic analysis of window glass samples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-54
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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