LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) technology enables rapid identification of the elements in almost any material in seconds, using a field-portable, hand-held "laser gun".
Used with the GeoChem application software the SciAps "Z" series of instruments provides qualitative analysis for earth materials and includes generic concentration calibrations. The included, Profile-Builder software allows the user to create specialty calibrations and identify elements in almost any other material. No X-rays, no radiation license, no flimsy X-ray detectors.
How Does It Work?
The hand-held "gun" pulses a pinpoint laser beam, focused on the sample surface, to create a plasma. The optical spectrum, or flashes of light that are produced, are analyzed by on-board photo-spectrometers to identify the elements and their relative abundance present in the material based on the wavelength and intensity of the emitted light. The beam is "rastered" or moved across several locations on the sample and the results averaged to reduce the effects on non-uniform sample chemistry. One test reveals all the elements within the range of the instrument.
If element concentration is desired, calibrations can be built by the user, or with assistance from Sciaps Application Engineers, using Pro-Builder software with assayed samples of similar materials.
LIBS "Z" instruments to have an extremely wide range of elemental capability with the Z300 model capable of analyzing emissions in the range from 190nm to 950nm, which includes most elements from Hydrogen and higher on the periodic chart.