Ocean Optics Announces Laser Assisted Microwave Plasma Spectroscopy
New Technology Enhances Signal in LIBS Applications
January 17, 2008 – DUNEDIN, FL – Ocean Optics, the industry leader in miniature photonics, has today announced the production of the first commercial LIBS system employing a microwave cavity for signal enhancement. The system known as LAMPSTM uses a proprietary microwave cavity design housed inside a sample chamber and separate power supply. The laser and microwave operation are controlled by Ocean Optics LIBS software or by an external TTL trigger. Precise timing and control is not required.
In laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), a single pulse from a high-intensity laser is focused on the sample area, exciting the sample and creating plasma – into which a trace amount of the sample has been ablated. As the plasma decays, excited elements in the plasma emit light at wavelengths that are distinct to each element. This emission is collected by a probe and sent to a high-resolution, multi-spectrometer system for analysis. Each scan provides full spectral analysis from 200-980 nm – the region in which all elements emit energy – with optical resolution of 0.1 nm (FWHM) and sensitivity to parts-per-billion.
Materials applications include analyzing the composition of metal alloys used in products, monitoring laser welding plumes and identifying different compositions of metals in recycling centers. Additional applications include environmental monitoring, forensics and biomedical studies, military and safety needs and art restoration and conservation projects.
The plasma formed by laser ablation is injected into the cavity where the free electrons react with the microwaves. This produces greater signal strength, duration, and reproducibility for better quantitative analyses for most sample matrices. Sensitivity improvements > 1000 fold are reported. Now applications for a wide variety of analytes requiring greater sensitivity and less ablative sample damage are made possible with LAMPS.