Laser Ablation for Microanalysis
Elemental analysis by direct ablation and atomization of microsamples using pulsed, focused laser beams is a fascinating method which was first applied soon after the first lasers were available1. Since that time, many research groups have worked in the field of microanalysis by laser ablation (for reference see, for example, reviews2,3). Almost all groups used optical emission spectrometry (OES) of the laser induced plasma to analyse the ablated samples. However, the analytical figures of merit (accuracy, precision and detection limit) were often very poor. The poor analytical results were due to bad reproducibilities of the laser power and to poor laser beam profiles. On the other hand, often the optical detectors were not able to record rapid changing, transient spectra with good time resolution. In this contribution, basic investigations on the ablation process and the optimization of the atomization process will be reported and discussed. The analytical figures of merit will be given for direct optical emission spectrometry of the laser produced plasma and of laser induced fluorescence spectrometry (LIF) using pulsed tunable dye lasers for selective excitation of analytes in the laser microplasma. Furthermore, a way will be shown how the analytical data can be calibrated by internal standardization and the use of standard reference material. For further details see Ref. 4–8.
KeywordsLaser Ablation Optical Emission Spectrometry Laser Induce Fluorescence Ablate Material Good Time Resolution
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