How LIBS Stands Out Against LA-ICP-MS

In labs worldwide, advanced laser technologies like LA-ICP-MS (Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry) and LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) are revealing the secrets of materials. Both techniques utilize laser-based sampling but differ in their analytical approaches. LIBS measures photon emissions from excited elements, whereas LA-ICP-MS transports ablated material to a plasma for ionization and mass spectrometric analysis.

Looking at these two technologies, both LIBS and LA-ICP-MS offer high sensitivity, a broad calibration range and micrometer-level spatial resolution. While LA-ICP-MS’s main advantage lies in its ability to achieve detection limits down to parts per trillion (ppt), it also requires a vacuum, noble gases, and specialized equipment, making it more costly to operate. LIBS, in contrast, is also able to operate without such requirements, exemplifying one of its many advantages over LA-ICP-MS.

How does LIBS outperform LA-ICP-MS?

  1. Exceptional Element Measurement: LIBS excels in measuring elements such as carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, offering unique opportunities where LA-ICP-MS may fall short. It also boasts superior sensitivity to light elements like lithium, making it an invaluable tool for diverse analytical needs.
  2. Unmatched Speed and Mobility: LIBS analysis and instrument preparation are significantly faster than LA-ICP-MS. Without the need for rare gas flows, vacuum pumps, or cooling systems, LIBS operates efficiently at atmospheric pressure. Its simplicity allows for portable device construction, enabling on-site analysis and immediate results.
  3. Easy Depth Profiling: LIBS facilitates straightforward measurement of depth profiles, providing detailed insights into material composition with minimal hassle.
  4. Cost-Effective and Efficient: LA-ICP-MS, while highly sensitive, comes with a hefty price tag due to its complexity and requirement for specialized components. LIBS, on the other hand, offers a more affordable solution without compromising on performance. Its lower operational costs make it accessible for routine and large-scale analyses.
  5. Widespread Applications: The versatility and portability of LIBS have led to its widespread use in industries such as geology, environmental science, mining and beyond. Its rapid, reliable results are perfect for practical, routine analyses.

While both LA-ICP-MS and LIBS offer valuable insights into material analysis, LIBS emerges as the standout choice for material analysis for various industries as it combines speed, affordability, and versatility. LIBS not only simplifies the analytical process but also delivers reliable and detailed results, making it a trusted tool for elemental analysis worldwide. Whether you need to measure specific elements, perform rapid on-site analysis, or achieve detailed depth profiling, LIBS delivers exceptional performance and value and therefore is the best choice! 



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