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  3. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

What is Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)?

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) involves the creation of a high-temperature plasma above the sample.  This plasma is created by laser pulse from a laser source. When the micron-sized laser beam is focused onto the sample surface, a small volume (micrograms) of the sample mass is ablated.  When the laser pulse/plasma creation is complete, the plasma starts to cool. During this process, the electrons of the atoms and ions at the excited electronic states fall down into natural ground states, causing the plasma to emit the excess energy as light with characteristic spectral peaks. The emitted light is collected and transmitted to the spectrometer/CCD package for LIBS analysis. Each element in the periodic table has a number of unique LIBS spectral peaks. The ideal analytical line (strongest, most interference-free) for each element peak is used to collect the signal and then integrated with all the element signals to calculate concentration for materials, like metal alloys.