Elemental Analysis directly in the Process
Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is a specific method for the analysis of elements that are not directly accessible by other spectroscopic techniques. It is suited for qualitative and quantitative measurements, regardless of the sample’s state of matter – liquid, solid or gaseous. Concentrations of different elements in one sample can be determined simultaneously. Sample preparation is not required in a laboratory nor in industrial applications.
LIBS provides many advantages:
- Simultaneous detection of individual elements
- High selectivity
- Applicable to solids, liquids and gases
- Process proven technology
For integrators and OEM partners, we provide dedicated solutions at the system or component level.
- Industrial grade Nd:YAG laser (1064 nm)
- Pulse frequency: 20 Hz – 1 kHz (application-dependent)
- Pulse energy: 300 µJ – 30 mJ (application-dependent)
- High sensitivity CMOS Technology (up to 4096 Pixel)
- Available spectral ranges: 190 – 980 nm (application-dependent)
- High spectral resolution: 0.1 – 0.5 nm
- Readout rates of up to 1000 spectra per second
- Working distances from a few mm up to 15 cm
In LIBS, a plasma is generated on the sample utilizing a short-pulsed laser. The light emitted during the decay of this plasma (breakdown) is recorded with a spectrometer, which yields reliable element-specific analyses of the measured goods. Detection limits of up to 10 ppm can be achieved.
Unlike other methods of atomic emission spectroscopy, LIBS provides the same analytical accuracy but in real-time – online, inline, or in situ – at measurement rates of up to 1000 spectra per second and without any sample preparation.
New Capabilities, new Application Areas
Compared to other methods, LIBS stands out by its simplicity in terms of architecture and usability. It enables analyses in real-time to qualitatively or quantitatively determine the atomic composition of a sample.
Areas of application for LIBS are, for instance, the identification of raw materials as part of an incoming goods inspection in compliance with the respective guidelines and standards.
LIBS technology allows the direct measurement of elements such as Na, K and P, which play an essential role e.g. in soil analysis as macro- or micronutrients for plants. In addition, soil contamination can be quantified since LIBS is used for the detection of heavy metals such as Cd, As, Se, Hg, Ni or Pb. In combination with other analytical methods, such as NIR spectroscopy, a more comprehensive picture of plant and soil status can be obtained than ever before.
Also, due to its process capability, LIBS is increasingly being used in many industrial applications. Because of its significant working distance (up to 15 cm) and the concurrently high measuring rate (up to 1000 measurements per second), online and inline applications, such as automated sorting, become accessible. Examples include the analysis of ores and rocks in mining or the sorting of electronic scrap in the recycling sector.
Thus, application possibilities of LIBS are broad, enabling sensitive but robust element analyses independent of the state of – at high speed, reliably and in real-time!