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New portable Laser device performs on-site analysis of samples

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  • Lampros F. Kallenos
    At FORTH (Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas) - IESL (Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser) in Crete, scientists have developed a new
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2007
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      At FORTH (Foundation for Research & Technology - Hellas) -
      IESL (Institute of Electronic Structure & Laser) in Crete,
      scientists have developed a new instrument that adds to the
      resources that historians and scientists can use for
      researching the past.

      LMNTI (pronounced “el-em-ent-one”) is a compact and mobile
      laser analytical instrument, based on Laser-Induced
      Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), which is used to analyse
      archaeological finds. Using LIBS technology, LMNTI’s
      transportable size and user-friendly interface make the
      instrument a powerful tool for performing routine, rapid,
      on-site sample analysis and screening a large variety of
      materials, leading to fast classification of archaeological
      findings. It has been used to analyse pigments in easel
      paintings, icons, polychromes, pottery, glass and metal
      objects, and multi-elemental results appear in a matter of


      In archaeology, a rivet from the island of Pseira, Crete,
      used to hold the blade within the wooden handle of a Minoan
      dagger, was analysed by LIBS. On the flat site of the rivet,
      silver was detected, suggesting that silver coating
      technology was available at this location since 16th century

      LMNTI was used to evaluate a small bead recently excavated
      in a Minoan burial site in Crete. The bead appeared to be
      made of faience, a form of glass used in antiquity, composed
      mainly of silica. To the surprise of the archaeologists
      conducting the analysis, the LIBS spectrum showed clearly
      that the bead was made of lead. Evidently, extended
      corrosion had transformed the lead into a compact mass of
      salts and oxides, preserving the initial shape of the bead
      but giving it the appearance of a faience-like object. All
      this was discovered with a single laser pulse, which
      instantly revealed the identity of the bead. As
      archaeologists are often faced with a large number of
      objects, this rapid yet thorough analysis gives LMNTI a
      distinct advantage.



      Lampros F. Kallenos
      Idalion, Lefkosia
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