If you are reading this article you are either a pro LIBS user searching for gathered facts already familiar to you, or a newbie to the field curious about interesting LIBS information; alternatively combination of both. Either way it is most probably unnecessary to explain principles of LIBS in detail, however, if that is the case let me refer to a relevant literature source [1].


At the beginning I would like to point out that thanks to its undoubted advantages LIBS is gradually getting to be known among the professional public, despite the relative youth of this technique. LIBS is capable of getting a complex view of the elemental composition of almost any sample with no need of specific sample pre-treatment even in the extra-laboratory conditions or when used remotely. The absolute detection limits are not as stunning as in the case of other elemental analytical methods and the matrix effects represent probably the weakest point of LIBS analysis. However, wide range of LIBS benefits determines its great industrial application potential.

This potential has been realized by plenty of research labs aiming to assemble their own experimental LIBS setup. Intensive development of LIBS lasers and detectors in the last decades made it possible to have a truly powerful laboratory LIBS apparatus at reasonable cost. How to commence, then? By answering five basic questions.

  1. What devices do I need?
  2. How to arrange and configure them?
  3. How to control them?
  4. What about the safety?
  5. How can I further upgrade my setup?

[1] D. A. Cremers & L. J. Radziemski. Handbook of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (2nd ed.). Wiley. 2013

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