Laser-induced breakdown spectra were measured by using a 1.3 ps laser pulse on glass, steel, and copper. Material ablation with the use of picosecond excitation is very precise with well-formed sharpedged craters. The spectra obtained with 570 nm, 1.3 ps excitation decay more quickly and show significantly lower background emission than those that use 1064 nm, ∼7 ns excitation. The background was low enough that excellent laser-induced spectroscopy (LIBS) spectra were obtained on the three samples by using a single 1.3 ps laser pulse and a nongated detector. Similar results were obtained by using nanosecond excitation but with higher relative background signals. The radiance was similar with the use of pico- or nanosecond excitation; however, the radiant intensity was larger with nanosecond excitation because of the larger plasma.

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