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How Laser Ablation Is Obliterating Barriers to New Spectroscopic Analytical Techniques

Jan 21, 2021
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In the search for the magic black box analyzer that does it all (BTW, it hasn't been found yet), many so-called new techniques have been touted. Many of these analytical techniques are in fact rooted in classic spectroscopy and combined with some old-fashioned ingenuity and a sprinkle of creative data processing. Laser ablation for chemical analysis is no exception. Not entirely new but not entirely mainstream yet, laser ablation — for the purposes of this presentation- will cover both laser ablation for inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Laser ablation in these forms is capable of a range of detection from major elements to ultratrace detection of the entire periodic table at both bulk and micro scales. The combination of the two techniques — what Alan Koenig and colleagues call "tandem"- offers an elevated level of analysis that does not throw away light or ignore the particles. Koenig presents examples of new developments in instrumentation, as well as an expansion of applications from routine bulk analysis to innovative microanalysis. As he discusses the history of the technique, including fun lessons learned and future challenges, he shows how the technique is capable of adding more than another hammer to the analytical toolbox.

***This presentation premiered during the 2021 Photonics Spectra Conference Spectroscopy track. For information on upcoming Photonics Media events, see our event calendar here.

About the presenter
Alan KoenigAlan Koenig is Director of Global Application Support and Application Lab Management, for Applied Spectra a leading LIBS company. Alan oversees the operation of the new state-of-the-art application laboratory at Applied Spectra's West Sacramento headquarters, and provides technical leadership to Applied Spectra in developing analytical methods and accelerating adoption of LIBS and laser ablation (LA-ICP-MS) in key target industries. Prior to Applied Spectra, Alan worked at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for 17 years where he managed the LA-ICP-MS Facility. In this capacity, he developed numerous methods for LA-ICP-MS analysis.
spectroscopylaser ablationAnalytical techniqueslaser-induced breakdown spectroscopyLIBS
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