Today, most Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) systems are large and bulky. This is typically due to the fact that the laser that generates the plasma is a flash-lamp pumped, nanosecond, q-switched system illuminating the target with tens of millijoules of energy. This is a very inefficient laser and process. In addition the spectrometer system and electronics are complicated and expensive due the precise timing requirements to time gate out the continua from the elemental spectra.
Our new development partner has developed an extremely small diode pumped solid-state laser system that produces a small spot size and has just enough energy to create a small microplasma. The laser runs at a high rep rate (~5 kHz) and the spectrometer integrates the signal from multiple plasmas generated by the laser, significantly reducing the complexity of the electronics.
In addition, a new small portable hand held system is under development which incorporates the laser engine, spectrometer, battery and microcomputer with display is in the final stages of commercialization. We are working with our partner as well as several new customers to address new markets such as metal recycling, geological characterization, and RoHS compliance monitoring.