Bioaerosol Detection with Atomic Emission Spectroscopy

  • Nicolas LeoneEmail author
  • Damien Descroix
  • Salam Mohammed
Part of the Integrated Analytical Systems book series (ANASYS)


Techniques based on atomic emission spectroscopy (AES), as flame emission spectroscopy (FES), or laser-induced plasma spectroscopy (LIBS), could be of interest for fast detection and classification of biological warfare agents (BWA). Bioagents can be directly investigated in real time by these techniques, without sample preparation in ambient atmosphere. Complex interactions between an energetic flame or a thermal plasma and the bioaerosol compounds provide spectral signals that are characteristic of the particle elementary composition. Detectors require sampling system, reactor (flame or plasma), optical sensors, and reliable data processing. The challenge is to develop sensitive tools to detect low BWA concentrations within a natural and complex atmospheric background. Firstly, FES is described in general terms with emphasis put on flame transformation processes. Representative and experimental FES applications are illustrated. Then, LIBS technique is presented with elementary limits of detection, and complex plasma–particle interactions. Differences between FES and LIBS are discussed, as well as possible complementary use. Potential technical improvements are suggested for both techniques to further enhance the bioaerosol detection.


Partial Little Square Analysis Principal Component Analysis Flame Temperature Atomic Emission Spectroscopy Mars Science Laboratory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Leone
    • 1
    Email author
  • Damien Descroix
    • 1
  • Salam Mohammed
    • 2
  1. 1.Physical Detection DepartmentDGA CBRN DefenceVert le PetitFrance
  2. 2.Division of CBRN Defence and SecurityFOI—Swedish Defence Research AgencyUmeåSweden

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