Abstract

When a pulsed, high-powered laser beam is focused onto the surface of a target (solid or liquid sample), a portion of the illuminated mass is ablated into vapor-phase constituents. In many cases, the energy and irradiance of the laser beam is significant to convert this vapor into a luminous plasma above the sample surface. Spectroscopic interrogation of the plasma is a powerful technology for direct multi-elemental chemical analysis; a technology termed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS is attractive for the chemical analysis because any material can be ablated without sample preparation, data are measured in real time, and the plasma provides a complete chemical signature of the sample constituents.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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