Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)

Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy or LIBS is a powerful technique for rapid elemental-analysis of a wide range of materials. It does not require sample preparation and can be applied on solid, liquid and gaseous samples indiscriminately. Detection sensitivity may be achieved to sub part per million or part per billion level. Its versatile applications range from as simple as metal analysis to as complex as biological studies, from as delicate as historical artifact studies to as dangerous as explosive material detection, and from as near as geological studies to as far as Mar exploration.

In principle, LIBS is an optical emission spectroscopy (OES). A powerful and highly focused laser beam is used to produce breakdown on the sample and produce plasma. The radiations emitted from the plasma are usually collected by a fiber optic cable (FOC) and deliver to spectrograph, the spectrograph splits it into its constituent wavelengths and project over ICCD or CCD detector array. The spectrum of wavelengths is then recorded and analyzed. LIBS spectrum is a line emission spectrum in which each emission line refers to a particular element and its intensity refers to concentration of that element.

  • Sample preparation is not necessary
  • It is virtually capable of analyzing any type of material under any atmosphere
  • No involvement chemicals or chemical reaction, hence it is free of producing toxic residues.
  • Non-destructive analysis (material consumption is ~ mg)
  • Fast analysis and high throughput of samples
  • Real-time multi-element detection.
  • In process analysis

Two distinct characteristics of LIBS that make it unique conventional chemical techniques are the capabilities of

  • Remote Analysis & Stand-Off Analysis

Laser Center have an established LIBS system. Facilities for working with a variety of sample in modifiable ambient atmospheres. Several Nd:YAG lasers and an Excimer laser are available for LIBS studies. Spectrometers with CCD detector is dedicated for LIBS. Light collection system consists of a collection lens and 600micron fiber optic cable. Numerous projects have been successfully completed on this system and others are in progress.