This paper is a review of the basic principles and recent developments of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) as a method for the element- and isotope-selective trace analysis of solid materials. In the course of this review, the aerosol formation/transportation process, quantification issues, as well as technical aspects concerning the system configuration and ICP operating conditions are outlined. Furthermore, the performance of femtosecond (fs) LA-based analyses as one of the most important advancements made over the past years is discussed. The benefits offered by fs-LA in comparison to LA using nanosecond (ns) laser sources are demonstrated on the basis of oxide layer and silicate glass analyses with different applied calibration strategies.

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