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Detection and quantification of fluorine by LIBS


The main objective of this study is to show that the abnormally high mass of some ancient bones from archaeological sites could be due to chronic ingestion of large amounts of fluoride that would have led to a serious condition called skeletal fluorosis. Fluorine being a difficult element to quantify by standard analytical methods and especially by those using portable equipment, we have evaluated the potential of LIBS in a bioarchaeological study of samples from the sites of Cumae and Pompeii in Italy. However, fluorine atomic emission lines are generally not detected in LIBS spectra of bone samples and therefore the molecular bands of CaF were exploited in our study. A regression model was established between the LIBS signal of CaF and the fluorine concentration from PIXE-PIGE analyses from a dedicated batch of bone samples. The results obtained show that the performance of fluorine quantification in bones by LIBS is very satisfactory and that it is thus possible to distinguish bones from individuals suspected to have skeletal fluorosis from those that are not. All spectra were recorded with a portable LIBS instrument and processed with software developed at IRAMAT-CRP2A laboratory.
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Dates and versions

hal-03531972 , version 1 (18-01-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03531972 , version 1


Yannick Y. Lefrais, Eliza Orellana-González, Bruno Bousquet, Henri Duday, Dominique Castex, et al.. Detection and quantification of fluorine by LIBS: a case study in archaeology. Euro-Mediterranean Symposium on Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, Nov 2021, Gijon, Spain. ⟨hal-03531972⟩
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