Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) involves focusing a short laser pulse on a sample that then heats and atomizes, producing a localized plasma plume. Light from the plume is collected, dispersed by a spectrograph, and then typically focused on a CCD. The plume emits light whose wavelengths are characteristic of the atoms and ions present in the plasma, which in turn reflect the elemental composition of the sample. LIBS, therefore, is a form of atomic emission spectroscopy.
The major difference between LIBS and arc-spark emission spectroscopy is the means of generating the plasma. Right after the laser pulse, the plasma plume can be hot enough to give a continuum of radiation, masking the sharp spectral lines typical of the atoms and ions of interest. The continuum is frequently dealt with by using an intensified CCD (ICCD) camera capable of gating. By waiting a period of time (i.e., the insertion delay, typically from nanoseconds to microseconds) during which light is not allowed to fall on the CCD sensor, the plasma will cool down, the continuum radiation will abate, and the sharp spectral lines of interest can be seen. Thus, an ICCD camera is preferred for LIBS applications.
Advantages LIBS is considered one of the most convenient and efficient analytical techniques for trace elemental analysis in gases, solids, and liquids. LIBS spectra obtained by the Mars Curiosity Rover have confirmed that our sister planet could have harbored life.
Major advantages include:
Because of the many advantages of LIBS, it is a very attractive analytical tool. Here are a few examples of real-life applications where LIBS is successfully used:
PI-MAX4 ICCD Cameras -Ultimate in precision and intelligence - Gating to <500 picoseconds - Gen II or Gen III image intensifiers
IsoPlane Imaging Spectrographs - Zero astigmatism at all wavelengths across entire focal plane for better spectral resolution and SNR - Crisp, detailed images across the focal plane
Acton Series Monochromators & Spectrographs - Positrak™ grating stabilization offers simple calibration - Optimized coatings for higher throughput - Interchangeable grating turrets with a wide selection of gratings
High-Accuracy LIBS with Nanosecond and Picosecond Time Resolution Enabled by Ultrasensitive emICCD Technology
This note explains how the improved performance of the PIMAX4:1024EMB emICCD camera used in concert with an echelle spectrometer (LTB ARYELLE 200) delivers ultrahigh sensitivity for demanding LIBS applications on the nanosecond and picosecond timescales.
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