Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy
Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is an emission spectroscopy technique that provides an elemental fingerprint of the sample under investigation.
A LIBS measurement starts with an energetic laser pulse. The laser pulse is tightly focused onto the sample of interest to form a plasma. From this plasma highly discrete colors of light are emitted, called emission lines; these lines are characteristic for the elements present in the sample. A spectrometer unravels the different colors emitted from the sample and creates a spectrum. A digital camera captures the spectrum and dedicated software translates the emitted spectrum into the composition of the sample. Because all elements emit light at characteristic frequencies when excited, LIBS can in principle detect all elements, limited only by the amount of energy present in the plasma and the wavelength range of the used spectrometer.