LIBS measurements of the PTAL samples completed at IRAP/Toulouse facilities during 2 campaigns (2019 October 7-10, November 3-5)

During two campaigns of 3 days each, we performed LIBS measurements of all PTAL samples at Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse.

All crushed powders were installed in the "Mars Chamber" where a Mars-like atmosphere was recreated. A copy of the instrument ChemCam installed on the NASA rover Curiosity was then used to perform Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS): a strong and short laser pulse is focused on the surface of the powder, the impact creates a plasma that emits light for a fraction of a second, this light is analysed through spectrometers. Within the light spectra, emission lines reveal the presence of numerous atoms that were present in the rock powder. Through LIBS, we have access to the elemental composition of the rock!


The figure shows the crushed powders from the PTAL library after LIBS analysis. Series of laser pulses can "dig" down several millimetres in fine powders. We can easily verify that 3 different spots were measured for each sample!